Florida Man Arrested and Charged with Extensive Cyberstalking and Threats Campaign
A Florida man was arrested today and charged in U.S. District Court in Boston with conducting an extensive cyberstalking campaign that targeted his former schoolmate, a 30-year-old Massachusetts woman. The victim’s name is being withheld to protect her privacy.
Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling of the District of Massachusetts and Special Agent in Charge Harold H. Shaw of the FBI’s Boston Field Office made the announcement.
Byron A. Cardozo, 34, residing in Jacksonville and Tamarac, Florida, was charged in a recently unsealed indictment with one count of cyberstalking and one count of making interstate threats. Cardozo was detained following an initial appearance before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Patrick M. Hunt in the Southern District of Florida.
According to the unsealed indictment, Cardozo is charged with engaging in an 18-month-long multi-faceted cyberstalking and threats campaign targeting the victim. He launched his campaign in February 2017, shortly after the victim wrote, and had published in an online magazine, an essay describing a one-time, traumatic sexual encounter she had with Cardozo when she was approximately 13 and he was approximately 17 and they attended the same school in Florida. She used pseudonyms for Cardozo and others in the essay. He sent hundreds of online communications, many of which he made in the “comments” section to the essay. In those communications, Cardozo claimed that the victim had fabricated her claims about the coercive nature of the 2001 sexual encounter, provided graphic descriptions of his purported consensual sexual encounter with the victim, and described how he continued to masturbate to the victim’s photographs. Cardozo also made express and implicit threats to injure the victim. At other times, he also apologized to her for the traumatic sexual experience in 2001, asked for forgiveness, expressed his love for her, and made veiled threats to commit suicide “because of you.” Cardozo continued to harass and threaten the victim despite the fact that she had obtained a state court order in April 2017, forbidding him from communication with her.
The FBI is investigating the case. Senior Trial Attorney Mona Sedky of the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Amy Harman Burkart of the District of Massachusetts are prosecuting the case.
The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.