Nashville Man Sentenced To Federal Prison For Cyberstalking
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Nashville man was sentenced today to three years in federal prison for using social media platforms to threaten, harass, and stalk multiple victims, announced U.S. Attorney Mark H. Wildasin for the Middle District of Tennessee.
Barry Zarculia, 55, was initially arrested in November 2020 and was later indicted by a federal grand jury on three counts of cyberstalking. He pleaded guilty to the charges in November 2021. According to the charging documents, an investigation by the FBI determined that Zarculia used a cellular phone and an Instagram account to send death threats, threaten serious bodily harm, and/or harass, intimidate, and stalk multiple victims.
Zarculia was the user of the Instagram account @songs_in_the_key_of_z and posted hateful, racist, anti-black messages on its public message board, such as messages including the phrasing “black lives don’t matter.” In addition, an individual referenced having observed posts that applauded the sniper who conducted the 2017 Las Vegas massacre and alluded to the fact that the user wished the same attack would occur in Nashville. After posting these and other comments, Zarculia received negative feedback from other social media users. Zarculia then posted a photograph of one individual’s house, along with the address of the individual’s public page, and said in part, “Anyone that wants a piece of me, come on over,……..Off Nolensville Pike. I sleep in the front bedroom.” This alarmed the individual as this front bedroom was occupied by his child. Zarculia also sent other messages to this individual and called him on the phone and threatened to put a gun in his mouth.
The continuing investigation led agents to another victim who began receiving unsolicited messages from Zarculia in September 2019, via Instagram. Although this woman had never met Zarculia, his messages referenced her recent locations around Nashville, including a local coffee shop and a local park. Over the next several months, Zarculia continued to send this woman messages, which she described as “creepy” and “overly sexual” in nature, often sending her photos of his penis. On one occasion, Zarculia made reference to the woman’s minor son and specifically mentioned the elementary school which he attended, though the woman had never mentioned her son to Zarculia. She eventually stopped responding to Zarculia’s messages and, in early 2020, Zarculia approached her in a local grocery store. She did not engage in conversation with him and went about her business. Later, Zarculia sent her messages that were angry in nature. These messages continued to escalate to violent and threatening rants, some sent in audio format and also directed at a friend of the woman who had become involved out of fear for the woman’s safety.
Another woman began receiving unsolicited Instagram messages from Zarculia in July 2020. These messages also escalated to harassing and threatening text and audio messages. On many occasions, Zarculia made reference to her location, making it apparent that he had followed her and knew where she had been and where she lived. In October, out of fear for her safety, the woman obtained a temporary order of protection against Zarculia. The following day, while hiking at a local park, the woman saw Zarculia from a distance. She then hid in a large bush and sought the assistance of a park ranger to escort her to her vehicle, at which time Zarculia began yelling at her.
Each of these victims were forced to take additional security measures, including installing or updating their home alarm systems, or even moving from their home, in order to mitigate the threat posed by Zarculia.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathryn Risinger prosecuted the case.
# # # # #