Man Charged with Threatening Life of Philadelphia Woman Online from Overseas
PHILADELPHIA – Acting United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams announced that Davit Davitashvili, 43, of Gori, the Republic of Georgia, and a naturalized American citizen, was charged by Indictment today with one count of transmitting in interstate and foreign commerce a threat to injure another person. The defendant was arrested on June 3, 2021 upon arriving at John F. Kennedy Airport in Queens, New York, and taken into custody.
The Indictment alleges that on March 10, 2020, Davitashvili knowingly and willfully transmitted messages using an Internet messaging application to a woman living in Philadelphia known as ‘O.V.,’ which contained threats to sexually assault the mother of O.V., and to injure, maim, and kill O.V. and others.
“The defendant is alleged to have sent incredibly scary, disturbing, and intimidating messages to a woman living and working in our city. No one should have to live in such constant fear,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Williams. “The public can rest assured that our Office, together with our law enforcement partners, is working tirelessly to protect victims from all types of threats both at home and abroad.”
“You can't just threaten people online with violent physical harm. That’s not protected speech — it’s a crime,” said Michael J. Driscoll, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Philadelphia Division. “The FBI takes all threats to life seriously and so should anyone thinking about making one. We will investigate, identify you, and ensure you’re held accountable for your actions.”
If convicted, the defendant faces a maximum possible sentence of five years in prison, three years of supervised release, a $250,000 fine, and a $100 special assessment.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Philadelphia Police Department, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Thomas M. Zaleski.
An indictment, information, or criminal complaint is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.