New York Man Pleads Guilty in Delaware Federal Court to Conspiracy to Commit Cyberstalking
WILMINGTON, Del. – United States Attorney David C. Weiss announced that Kristian James O’Hara entered a guilty plea today to one count of conspiracy to commit cyberstalking. The guilty plea was entered this morning before the Honorable Colm F. Connolly, United States District Judge for the District of Delaware. Sentencing has been scheduled for July 23, 2019. The defendant faces a maximum five years’ imprisonment for his crime.
According to court documents and statements made in open court, O’Hara engaged in an eighteen-month course of conduct, which occurred in Delaware, New Jersey, and New York, and which involved the harassment and intimidation of a former classmate of O’Hara’s, as well as the classmate’s parents and classmate’s romantic partner. O’Hara further admitted that he also engaged in cyberstalking conduct against other victims throughout this period, including former high school classmates, office co-workers, and others who rejected his advances.
Regarding his primary victim, O’Hara’s harassment took multiple forms, including late-night food orders, spoofed phone calls, and disturbing voicemails left at the victim’s childhood home in Delaware, where O’Hara and his co-conspirator falsely claimed the victim gave O’Hara a sexually transmitted disease. Often these cyberstalking acts drew from the victim’s posted messages or information shared with the victim’s social network, of which O’Hara was a part. O’Hara escalated the conduct when, after the victim rejected romantic advances once again, he engaged in further aggressions. These last acts included signing the victim’s professional work email address up for membership at such websites as Pornhub.com, barraging the victim’s new cell phone number with spoofed calls, and posting the victim’s name, likeness, and cell phone number on a sex-chat website. Each time his victim took steps to deter him, O’Hara found new means to inject himself into the victim’s life. The persistent nature of O’Hara’s conduct caused his victim to fear leaving the victim’s home alone.
U.S. Attorney Weiss said the following, “Cyberstalking conduct like this is designed to inflict psychological damage on another person. The defendant used the Internet to exact revenge on an innocent victim by using the information posted to the victim’s social network to harass. And while the victim and victim’s family adapted their lives to evade further harassment, the defendant delighted in the harm he caused and sought to inflict maximal damage. It was only when apprehended by law enforcement that the defendant stopped the cyberstalking acts he had perpetrated for years. The defendant must be held accountable for the damage he caused to these eight victims and others.”
"Mr. O'Hara scared innocent people and disrupted their daily lives because he was blinded by his obsession. No one should feel unsafe in their own home, school, or workplace, and the FBI and our law enforcement partners hope today's guilty plea will deter others from engaging in similar criminal conduct," said acting FBI Baltimore Special Agent in Charge Jennifer L. Moore.
This case is the result of an investigation conducted by FBI Baltimore - Wilmington Cyber Task Force, which was supported by the FBI New York Cyber Task Force, Newark Cyber Task Force, and the New York City Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Whitney Cloud.