Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Cyber Stalking - a curious crime

In January My Bossier ran a blog post Cyber Bullying on the Rise by local attorney Samantha McAllister. The article was focused on protecting children, but Ms. McAllister made a good point by saying “Sadly, even adults are using the Internet to harass, stalk, bully and threaten. Hiding under the anonymity of the Internet, it is easy for these predators to attack you or your children.”
This week we saw the arrest of a local pastor who admitted to sending a number of sexually oriented emails to a woman who had visited the church where he had served as pastor since 2000. This is a well educated, professional person who is a graduate of Baylor University's George W. Truett Theological Seminary and has a Doctorate from the Graduate Theological Foundation at Notre Dame University. Anyone else who faced this misdemeanor charge might be able to survive it without total disgrace, but not in this case. It is a tragic thing for his family and I admit I just can’t understand it. It's a curious crime.
A couple of weeks ago a Minden man was arrested and charged with cyber-stalking and obscenity. He had sent suggestive text messages and nude pictures of himself to a woman. After he was charged, another woman said he had done the same to her, so additional charges were added.
In February a local disc jockey was arrested for improper internet activities involving juveniles. The two fifteen year old girls he was planning to meet turned out to be Caddo Parish Sheriff’s detectives.
The Caddo Sheriff began the investigation after they received a complaint from the parents of a juvenile girl who had talked with the DJ on MySpace. He asked for nude or semi-nude photos in exchange for concert tickets, and promised back stage passes if they would meet him in person.
Last year a Shreveport man was arrested for sending a threatening email to a former teacher. He was charged in April in Bossier Parish; on July 1st of 2008 attorney Edward Mouton enrolled as his counsel and asked for a bond of $15,000. The bond was set at $10,000 and he bonded out.
The last entry on the Bossier Clerk’s website was the letter from attorney Mouton on July 1st enrolling as his counsel. Nothing else has been entered. We will attempt to find out what happened with this case.
What is it that makes people go online and harass people, whether it is a former teacher, a casual acquaintance or someone on a social networking site like the two fifteen year old girls?
There are many more cases that go unreported, and in some cases they have ended in death and violence.
Attorney McAllister outlined several steps that can be taken to protect yourself from these cyber offenders, and made the important point that “No matter what action you choose to take, remember, cyber bullying is a serious issue and you can stop a cyber bully before it is too late!”


  1. The victimization extends to the families of people who are caught doing this. How does a minister explain this to his children?

  2. Unfortunately there is a big problem in the ministry and sex. In particular pornography. I can't remember the statistic right now, but it was high. Sex is a drug that satan has perverted that runs this world. Preacher are not immune to this. Sometimes we feel like we have an extra layer of protection because we have a special calling on our lives. That is not so. It doesn't surprise me when this kind of stuff comes out. Unfortunately, the many ministers who do good do not get the recognition (though they don't want it). Only the bad ones get reported on. It is like someone asked Billy Graham his opinion about something happening one time. He just asked the question, "How many airplanes take off and land successfully everyday?" The reporter said lots. Graham said, "Yet you don't hear about those do you?" Pastors need our prayers more everyday. I "never" allow myself to counsel any girl or woman alone. I also since I am a male, have a filter. It doesn't matter about your education, age, occupation, upbringing. If you are a male, and now it is becoming more prevalent among females also, pornagraphy is addicting. I have had the problem in the past, but my love for God and my wanting my relationship and walk with him became of more importance than all that. Another words I wanted one thing more than I wanted the other. Jim, thanks for reporting this, but also find some positive things to say about the church too. I like your blog.

  3. Jim, I thought you might find this an interesting read. As I was reading this article, I remembered that our insurance company requested a background check when we called our last pastor a couple of years ago.

  4. I've been cyber stalked, and the best option is to contact the police and at least make a report when this sort of thing happens. The police are very helpful and can trace IP addresses, etc. You just have to be careful because you never know when it will escalate to stalking. For me, it has come to the point where I have to stay off the Internet, other than having my website and blog (which no one can comment on). Otherwise, you run the risk of people harrassing you/stalking you or attempting to sabotage your professional life.

  5. Hey Jim, I just found this article and this really is relevant to the issues that I have dealt with recently....I thought this was interesting!


Rules of the road:
1. No personal attacks or insults.
2. No accustory statements about wrongdoing or criminal acts against anyone.
3. Say all you want about the pros and cons concerning the candidates and the issues, or the general subject of the blog post, just follow Rule #1 and Rule #2.