Massachusetts Man Sentenced To 33 Months In Prison For Stalking
CONCORD, N.H. – David Ackell, 48, of Seekonk, Massachusetts, will serve a 33-month prison sentence for using facilities in interstate commerce to stalk a female resident of New Hampshire, announced Acting United States Attorney John J. Farley.
According to court records and statements made in court, Ackell sent an on-line private message to the victim when she was 16. Thereafter, the victim agreed to send photographs of herself to Ackell because Ackell repeatedly promised that he would not save them. Several months later, Ackell persuaded the victim to send partially nude photographs of herself to him. After the victim turned 18, she repeatedly told Ackell that she wanted to end their relationship. Ackell prevented this from happening by, among other things, threatening to send the victim’s photographs to her family and friends. He also told the victim that if she ended their relationship, a 14-year old girl would be raped.
Ackell was found guilty of the offense after a four-day jury trial in December 2016. The defendant will be appealing his conviction. He will not begin serving his sentence until after the Court of Appeals has ruled.
“In its various forms, cyber-stalking causes severe trauma to the stalked victims and the people who care about them,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Farley. “It is a high priority of this office to prosecute anyone who engages in this reprehensible conduct. This case is an unfortunate reminder that young people who use social media need to be vigilant about what information they share with others. I encourage parents to speak openly with their children about the need to be extremely cautious when establishing online relationships and sharing information with others. I commend the bravery of the victim in this case who came forward and shared her story with law enforcement officers.”
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Hancock, New Hampshire Police Department, and the Seekonk, Massachusetts Police Department investigated the case.
At trial, Assistant United States Attorneys Helen White Fitzgibbon and Robert Kinsella represented the government. AUSA Kinsella represented the government at the sentencing hearing.