New York Man Facing Federal Indictment in Maryland for Cyberstalking and Aggravated Identity Theft
Allegedly Used Over 100 Online Accounts to Harass and Intimidate a Woman He Never Met In Person
Baltimore, Maryland – A federal grand jury returned an indictment late yesterday charging Desmond Babloo Singh, age 19, of New York, New York, for the federal charges of cyberstalking and aggravated identity theft.
The indictment was announced by Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Jonathan F. Lenzner; Special Agent in Charge James R. Mancuso of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Baltimore; and Chief Melissa R. Hyatt of the Baltimore County Police Department.
“HSI remains committed to protecting the public from cyberstalking and other online harassment,” said Special Agent in Charge James R. Mancuso of Homeland Security Investigations Baltimore field office. “The internet and social media platforms are not safe havens for criminal conduct and we will continue to pursue and hold the individuals accountable for their crimes.”
According to the four-count indictment, Singh, the younger brother of a former middle school classmate of Victim 1’s, began following Victim 1 on multiple social media platforms after Singh’s family moved from Maryland to Texas. Between approximately 2014 to February 14, 2020, Victim 1 and Singh exchanged limited communications online, but there was never a romantic relationship of any sort between Singh and Victim 1; in fact, Victim 1 had never met Singh in person. Despite this, on Valentine’s Day 2020, Singh shared with Victim 1 a private social media post in which he professed his love for Victim 1. He also shared with Victim 1 a separate online posting in which he further expressed his romantic interest in Victim 1. Victim 1 rebuffed his advances and eventually asked him not to contact her any further.
The indictment alleges that over the course of the next 10 months, Singh orchestrated and executed a relentless cyberstalking and harassment campaign against Victim 1. Singh carried out a similar cyberstalking campaign against Victim 2, an associate of Victim 1’s, whom Singh perceived to be a romantic rival. Specifically, the indictment alleges Singh used more than 100 different social media, electronic communication, and phone accounts to send Victim 1 harassing communications, some of which included express or implied threats of death or bodily injury, sexualized violence. The communications also contained racial slurs directed at Victim 1. The indictment further alleges that Singh used images of Victim 1 in the harassing communications, in which he denigrated Victim 1’s appearance and character and encouraged others to harass Victim 1. The indictment further alleges Singh posted identifying information of Victim 1 including her address, phone number, school, social media identities, birth date, and other identifying information. One post containing Victim 1’s identifying information included the text, “UGLY [racial slur] GIRL PLS DO MORE TO HER”.
According to court documents, Victim 1 pleaded with Singh and his immediate family members to cease the online harassment, but to no avail. Victim 1 told Singh that if he did not cease the harassment, she would seek a no-contact order. In response, Singh allegedly sent a text message to Victim 1 stating, “You think I’m kidding I’m genuinely never going to stop, its going to be really funny…”
On July 19, 2020, a harassing account, allegedly created by Singh, posted Victim 1’s parents’ Maryland address and stated there would be a party at that address the following day. On July 20, 2020, Victim 1’s parents’ address was the subject of a false bomb threat, which was reported anonymously to the Baltimore County Police. The following day, Singh allegedly texted Victim 1 from an anonymous phone number, writing “you’re getting swatted.”
As detailed in court documents, Singh’s alleged harassment campaigns also involved gaining unauthorized access to Victim 1’s social media accounts. Specifically, Singh is alleged to have gained unauthorized access to two such accounts. Singh used his unauthorized access to those accounts to obtain private photos of Victim 1, which he then posted online. Singh also posted pictures of himself from one of Victim 1’s accounts, along with the text, “omg he’s so hot!!!”.
Finally, Singh allegedly conducted a similar cyberstalking and harassment campaign targeting Victim 2, which included creating social media accounts to denigrate Victim 2’s character, post Victim 2’s identifying information, and threats to engage Victim 2 in physical violence. For instance, Singh allegedly posted a video to social media platforms, which showed an unidentified person knocking on front door of a residence where Victim 2 previously lived. In this communication and others, Singh allegedly threated to seek out and fight Victim 2.
If convicted, Singh faces a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison for each of two counts of cyberstalking and a mandatory sentence of two years in federal prison, consecutive to any other sentence imposed, for each of two counts of aggravated identity theft. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. Singh is currently detained.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
Acting United States Attorney Jonathan F. Lenzner commended the HSI and the Baltimore County Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Lenzner thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher M. Rigali and Zachary A. Myers, who are prosecuting this case.
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