Florida Man Pleads Guilty To Extensive Cyberstalking and Threats Campaign
BOSTON – A Florida man pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court in Boston to cyberstalking and threatening his former schoolmate, a 30-year-old Massachusetts woman.
Byron A. Cardozo, 35, who previously resided in Jacksonville and Tamarac, Fla., pleaded guilty to one count of cyberstalking and one count of making interstate threats. U.S. District Court Judge Allison D. Burroughs scheduled sentencing for Nov. 12, 2019. Cardozo was arrested in August 2018 and has been in custody since.
Cardozo engaged in an 18-month-long, multi-faceted cyberstalking and threats campaign targeting his former schoolmate. He launched his campaign in February 2017, shortly after the victim wrote and published an essay in an online magazine describing a one-time, traumatic sexual encounter she had with Cardozo when she was approximately 13-years-old and he was approximately 17-years-old while they attended the same school in Florida. The victim used pseudonyms for Cardozo and others in the essay. In response, Cardozo sent hundreds of online communications, many of which he made in the “comments” section to the essay and on the victim’s personal website, where he claimed that the victim fabricated her claims about the coercive nature of the 2001 sexual encounter. Cardozo 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 communicating with her.
The charges of cyberstalking and making interstate threats each provide for a sentence of up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; and Joseph Bonavolonta, 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.