CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A federal grand jury in Charlotte returned a criminal indictment charging Russell J. Martini, 45, of Bay Shore, New York, with cyberstalking, stalking, kidnapping, and making interstate threats, announced Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.
Michael C. Scherck, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Charlotte Division, and Chief Johnny Jennings of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department join U.S. Attorney King in making today’s announcement.
According to allegations in the indictment, from April to May 2022, Martini sent repeated harassing and threatening communications to an individual identified in court documents as “Jane Doe.” The indictment alleges that Jane Doe knew Martini and had obtained a protection order in New York that prohibited the defendant from contacting her. In April 2022, Jane Doe moved from New York to Charlotte. Soon thereafter, Martini allegedly began a cyberstalking campaign against Jane Doe, and used texts, emails and social media platforms to send Jane Doe and members of her family harassing messages and threats of death and bodily injury. Martini also allegedly created a public social media account in Jane Doe’s name and used a compromising photo of the victim as a profile picture. The indictment further alleges that Martini threatened to publish sexual photos and videos of Jane Doe online and on popular social media websites if Jane Doe did not respond to Martini’s communications.
According to the indictment, in May 2022, Martini traveled to Charlotte and attempted to kidnap Jane Doe. The indictment alleges that Martini waited at Jane Doe’s apartment complex and attacked her as she walked up the stairs to her apartment. Martini allegedly attempted to drag the victim to his car but a bystander intervened and Martini fled. After the attack, Martini allegedly sent Jane Doe an email asking her if she was “ready for round two” and threatened to kill her.
Martini is currently in state custody and will be scheduled to appear in federal court. He faces a maximum penalty of up to life in prison for the kidnapping charge, and a maximum prison term of five years for each offense of cyberstalking, stalking, and communicating interstate threats.
The charges against Martini are allegations. The defendant is innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt in a court of law.
In making today’s announcement, U.S. Attorney King thanked the FBI and CMPD for their investigation of this case.
Assistant United States Attorney Kimlani Ford of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte is prosecuting the case.
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