Kristian James O’Hara, 25, Bardonia, NY, was sentenced today to 18 months in federal prison. O’Hara pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit cyberstalking on April 3, 2019.
According to court documents and statements made in open court, O’Hara led an 18-month cyberstalking conspiracy designed to intimidate and harass a former college classmate and her parents.
From December 2016 through May 2018, O’Hara and his co-conspirator Vincent James Palesky harassed the victim and her parents in multiple ways, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Delaware.
They frequently sent late-night food orders to her apartment, spoofed phone calls to her phone, and left disturbing voicemails at her childhood home in Delaware, falsely claiming the victim gave them a sexually transmitted disease.
O’Hara drew upon his friendship with the victim in order to gain information about her location and her activities, which he then used to further in the cyberstalking campaign.
In May 2018, O’Hara escalated the conduct by signing up the victim’s work email address for membership at website, one featuring porn,barraging the victim’s new cell phone number with spoofed calls, and posting the victim’s name, likeness, and cell phone number on a sex-chat website. Each time his victim took steps to deter him, O’Hara found new way s to continue his cyberstalking. The persistent nature of O’Hara’s conduct caused his victim to fear leaving her home alone.
O’Hara and Palesky also cyberstalked five other individuals between 2016 and 2018, including former high school acquaintances, another college classmate, and coworkers. O’Hara bragged to others about the “standard procedure, court records and statements indicated.
U.S. Attorney David Weiss stated, “This defendant used the Internet to terrorize a young woman and her parents. He and his co-conspirator committed dozens of separate acts, culminating in the defendant posting the victim’s name and number on a sex-chat website. Thanks to the courage of this family, the diligence of the lead FBI investigators, and assistance from other jurisdictions, O’Hara was quickly stopped and today appropriately punished.?
“Those who think they can use the anonymity of the Internet to terrorize people will quickly realize the investigative abilities of the FBI and cyber task force partners,” said FBI Baltimore Special Agent in Charge Jennifer Boone. “The FBI’s mission is to protect the American people and we will always support our communities against cyberstalking.”
This case was investigated by the FBI Baltimore – Wilmington Cyber Task Force, with support from the FBI New York Cyber Task Force, Newark Cyber Task Force, and the New York City Police Department, and the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices in District of New Jersey and Southern District of New York.