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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Illinois

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 16, 2014

Former Altamont, Illinois, Man Faces Federal Computer Harassment And Extortion Charges

A federal grand jury in Benton, Illinois, has charged Stephen B. Mislich, 23, of Bowling Green, Ohio, and formerly of Altamont, Illinois, with 4 counts of computer-related harassment and extortion offenses, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today.

The criminal complaint and indictment allege that Mislich engaged in a pattern of terrorizing women via “hacked” online accounts, misappropriating sexually oriented photos of these women and attempting to obtain further sexually oriented pictures and videos from the women by coercion and blackmail. Mislich faces up to 2 years in federal prison on each of the two extortion charges against him, and up to 5 years in federal prison on each of the two harassment charges against him. He also faces a potential $250,000 fine on each of the four counts against him. Upon his arrest, a Federal Magistrate Judge in the Northern District of Ohio ordered that Mislich be held without bond pending his trial on these charges.

An indictment is a formal charge against a defendant. Under the law, a defendant is presumed to be innocent of a charge until proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt to the satisfaction of a jury.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Effingham, Illinois, Police Department and the Effingham County Sheriff’s Department. Anyone who may believe that they are a potential victim of this case, or any other similar circumstance, is requested to call one of these law enforcement agencies for assistance. The case is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Thomas E. Leggans.

Updated February 19, 2015