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Zachary
Zachary, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3838
Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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I need help dealing with someone who is harassing me online,

Resolved Question:

I need help dealing with someone who is harassing me online, and has also threatened violence to my husband over the phone. I am in Canada and this person resides in Michigan. Its quite a long story so I need someone who can help guide and direct me. Thanks.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Zachary replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

I'm sorry to hear about your situation. Online harassment is very common nowadays and unfortunately there is very little that can be done legally which is very effective. Nevertheless, let's see what we can figure out together.

Why don't you go ahead and tell me the whole storey, including what the police have told you and done for you so far.

I look forward to hearing back from you.

Best Regards,
ZDN
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Ok, this might take awhile but here goes.


 


I work online as a webcam model. I entertain on a webcam every evening and my "fans" contribute by 'tipping" me tokens that are thus turned into money on my end. (www.myfreecams.com is the website I work for) A man on there approached me in January, and we quickly became friends. In May of this year, he lent me money to purchase a washer and dryer for my home. After that though, he slowly started getting more and more obsessed with me (it happens alot in my industry as you can probably imagine) and claimed to be in love with me. I made it clear that we were friends only and the friendship continued.


 


In September, I ended the friendship because his demands and expectations on our "relationship" were getting too much for me. He was getting jealous of my other fans, was getting upset if I wasn't around to talk to him online, etc...it was just too much to deal with so I told him I wished to end the friendship. We set up a payment plan for me to pay him back - I told him I was expecting a larger than normal paycheck at the end of December, and said I could begin to pay him back then and he agreed.


 


Over the next several weeks though, he kept harassing me via email, while I was at work on cam....emailing dozens of times a day, begging for me to take him back, saying that he had changed...I always maintained that I didn't want him to contact me. I wasn't interested in him in the slightest and his obsession with me frightened me. This week, things came to a head. On Saturday nite, he messaged me, drunk, and told me that he was coming to my home. Now I keep my information private, so I freaked out and asked him if he even knew my address and he said that he did. So I called him (blocking my number) to verify that he actually knew it and wasn't just BS-ing me, and on the phone he started making threats and being rude. My husband stepped in, took the phone and tried to talk to him about how out of line he was being, and Mike (the fan) became irate, calling my husband homophobic slurs, and threatening to come to our home to "beat his face in" and threatened violence against him. He then admitted that he knew my address, quoted it, and admitted to searching the internet for it. I had randomly mentioned months ago that my landlord was hoping to sell the home next year, so he searched MLS listings to find my home. (he recognized it by the outside view because I had webcammed from my yard before, and he recognized my car on Google Earth (he knows what I drive) - so he admitted to stalking me, to trying to scare me, and threatened to physically assault my husband - and the whole conversation was recorded.


 


I called the police, and a constable came over. He listened to what was going on, and while he did file a report and take my statement, he seemed to lack any compassion, even going as far as saying that I should expect this kind of treatment because of what I do for a living. Needless to say, I felt pretty disgusted after he left feeling like he invalidated my concerns simply because he had judgements about my career. The next day, I hop on twitter only to see that my address and real name has been posted all over twitter for my fans and strangers to see. It was posted by an anonymous name, but I am 100% positive it was Mikes doing. Flash forward a few days, after the constable contacted the MI police to go over to Mikes house, he finally contacted me again. Mike claimed to the police that all of this was over the money I owe him (which it wasn't, it wasn't even mentioned that night, and like I said, we had a payment plan agreed upon) Now apparently I have no legal rights because of the "civil issue" Mike is claiming. I am not able to obtain a restraining order, or press charges against him because I owe him money, even though we have a documented payment plan set in place.


 


So basically, what I need to know is - do I have any rights to my personal safety? Is there anything I can do? I know its probably difficult because I live in Canada and he's in the US, but he's literally two hours away from me, I live close to the border and so does he. I am very concerned for my safety. What can I do?

Expert:  Zachary replied 1 year ago.
Have you spoken directly to the Michigan police?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

They were the first people I contacted yes, however they told me in order for me to do anything, I'd need to work with my local law enforcement first and work through them. Being Canadian, it seems I can't recieve help from MI state police unless I have my local law enforcement working with me.

Expert:  Zachary replied 1 year ago.
I'm very sorry to hear about your situation. It sounds like what has happened is that the Canadian police to the MI police that they did not believe that there was a threat, and that they do not take you seriously, so the MI police have decided not to protect you.

Nevertheless, the type of threats both you and your husband received over the phone are real and are dangerous. The MI police should help you and you should get a restraining order.

However, since they will not help you, the best way to go about getting the Michagin police to act is by contacting a local Michagin criminal attorney who can act as your representative with the MI district attorney's office to make them request a restraining order for you. This may cost you some money up front, but in the end it will be worth it.

The other avenue you can pursue is to get a court to issue a civil restraining order, which essentially means that you go to a civil court and tell them the story and they will issue the order for you, in connection with your internet business, so as to prevent further online harassment and to request civil damages for the assault (threat of assault can qualify in civil law as an assault).

An injunction and restraining order are the only way that you can force him to stop harassing you online. I think you understand how serious this threat is. I encourage you to contact the constable's supervisor and press your case there. Someone in Canadian law enforcement should understand that this guy's actions constitute stalking and break Canadian law, as well as American law.

Please let me know if you have further questions or wish to discuss this matter further.

-ZDN
Zachary, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3838
Experience: Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
Zachary and 5 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you so much, I appreciate your help more than you know. You're the only person who seems to agree with my feelings...so thank you. I'll look into the advice you recommended.

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