Florida Man Arrested for Extensive Cyberstalking and Threats Campaign
BOSTON – A Florida man was arrested today and charged in federal court in Boston with conducting an extensive cyberstalking campaign that targeted his former classmate, a 30-year-old Massachusetts woman.
Byron A. Cardozo, 34, residing in Jacksonville and Boca Raton, Fla., was indicted on one count of cyberstalking and one count of making interstate threats. Cardozo was detained following an initial appearance in the Southern District of Florida and will be transported to Boston at a later date.
According to the indictment, Cardozo engaged in an 18-month-long multi-faceted cyberstalking and threats campaign targeting the victim. He began in February 2017, shortly after the victim published an essay in an online magazine describing a one-time, traumatic sexual encounter she had with Cardozo (she used pseudonyms in the article) when she was approximately 13-years-old and he was approximately 17-years-old while they attended the same school in Florida.
Cardozo allegedly sent hundreds of online communications, many of which he posted in the “comments” section of the essay, accusing the victim of fabricating 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. It is further alleged that Cardozo made threats to injure the victim, and at other times, he also apologized to her for the traumatic sexual experience, 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 communicating with her.
United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; and Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Office, made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney Amy Harman Burkart, Chief of Lelling’s Cyber Crime Unit and Senior Trial Attorney Mona Sedky of the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section are prosecuting the case.
The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.