Florida Man Sentenced to Prison for Extensive Cyberstalking and Threats Campaign
A Florida man was sentenced today to 70 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for conducting an extensive cyberstalking campaign that targeted his former schoolmate, a 31-year-old woman who lived in Massachusetts at the time. 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 Joseph R. Bonavolonta of the FBI’s Boston Field Office made the announcement.
Byron A. Cardozo, 35, who previously resided in Jacksonville and Tamarac, Florida, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Allison D. Burroughs of the District of Massachusetts. Cardozo pleaded guilty in August 2019 to one count of cyberstalking and one count of making interstate threats. Cardozo was arrested in August 2018 and has been held in custody since.
According to the indictment, to which Cardozo pleaded guilty, and evidence presented at sentencing, Cardozo engaged 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.
Cardozo then sent hundreds of online communications, many of which he made in the “comments” section to the essay and on the victim’s personal website. In those communications, Cardozo claimed that the victim had fabricated her claims about the coercive nature of the 2001 sexual encounter, he provided graphic descriptions of his purported consensual sexual encounter with the victim, and he 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’s Boston Field Office conducted the investigation. Senior Trial Attorney Mona Sedky of the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Amy Harman Burkart, Chief of Lelling’s Cybercrime Unit in the District of Massachusetts, are prosecuting the case.