Tennessee Man Indicted on Federal Charges in Cyberstalking and Identity Theft Case
WASHINGTON – Andrew T. Maliska, 27, of Nashville, Tennessee, has been indicted by a federal grand jury in the District of Columbia following an investigation into the creation and circulation of doctored images, related postings, and the personal information of the victim.
The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu and Nancy McNamara, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office.
Maliska was indicted by a grand jury on one count of cyberstalking and indicted on two counts of identity theft. The indictment, which was unsealed today, was returned on May 24, 2018, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
According to the indictment, Maliska resided in the District of Columbia from September 2009 until June 2013, where he studied at a local university and met the victim. The indictment alleges that in 2013 and 2015, during the course of his friendship with the victim, Maliska without authorization, accessed and obtained non-sexual images from the victim’s social media accounts. According to the indictment, Maliska then doctored those images to sexualize them and posted them on various online forums.
The indictment alleges that Maliska also posted the victim’s name, phone number, and address on an escort website in May of 2015. This posting resulted in the victim receiving multiple inquiries from individuals seeking escort services from her. The indictment further alleges that the nature of the other postings were pornographic, racist, and defamatory.
The victim and her family filed a civil suit against Maliska in October of 2015. The following year, the victim and her family obtained a civil settlement in which Maliska acknowledged the postings and content were authored by him, stated he would remove the content, and agreed that he would refrain from engaging in further defamatory postings of the victim.
As alleged in the indictment, in August 2017, after Maliska entered into the civil settlement, he continued to commission sexual images of the victim, posted about the victim, and reactivated a fake social media account in her name. The indictment alleges that Maliska used the victim’s name, biographical information, and images to create the fake social media account. Maliska used the fake social media account to befriend and communicate with others online.
Maliska was arrested on May 31, 2018. He made his first appearance on May 31, 2018, in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee. He pled not guilty to the charges and was detained pending his initial appearance in the District of Columbia. He made his initial appearance today in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. He was released pending further court proceedings.
The charge of cyberstalking carries a statutory maximum of five years in prison and potential financial penalties. The charge of identity theft carries a statutory maximum of five years’ incarceration and potential financial penalties.
An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of criminal laws and every defendant is presumed innocent until, and unless, proven guilty.
This case is being investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Youli Lee and Sumit Mallick of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. Assistance was provided by Assistant U.S. Attorney Byron Jones of the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Middle District of Tennessee and Bianca Evans, formerly of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.