Former State Trooper Pleads Guilty to Cyberstalking
COLUMBUS, Ohio –William P. Elschlager, 49, of Marietta, Ohio, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court today to cyberstalking.
Benjamin C. Glassman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Angela L. Byers, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cincinnati Division, and Washington County Sheriff Larry R. Mincks, Sr. announced the plea entered into before U.S. District Judge Michael H. Watson.
Elschlager was employed with the Ohio State Highway Patrol for 19 years and served as post commander for the Marietta Post.
According to court documents, between November 2015 and January 2016, Elschlager placed a victim under surveillance with a GPS device on the victim’s vehicle with the intent to harass and intimidate the victim.
“Today in court Elschlager admitted that he made phone calls and sent text messages regarding the victim’s whereabouts and, at times, her specific location, causing substantial emotional distress to the victim,” U.S. Attorney Glassman said. “For example, he texted the victim while she was in a retail store in Vienna, W.Va. and told her she needed to be aware of her surroundings and watch who she was around.”
In January 2016, when law enforcement officers conducted a search of Elschlager’s residence and electronic devices, they discovered a real-time location tracking of the victim on Elschlager’s computer. He also had the GPS tracking software on his cell phone.
Elschlager was arrested by Washington County Sheriff’s Office deputies and indicted by a federal grand jury in May 2017.
Cyberstalking is a crime punishable by up to five years in prison.
U.S. Attorney Glassman commended the investigation of this case by the FBI and Washington County Sheriff’s Office, as well as Assistant United States Attorneys Jessica H. Kim and Kevin Kelley, who are prosecuting the case.
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