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Man Gets Prison For Listing Ex-Girlfriend Online As Sex Worker, Hacking Her Accounts, Cyberstalking
Thomas Traficante's cyberstalking was so intense and unrelenting that a judge called it psychological terrorism.
A Long Island man who admitted cyberstalking his ex-girlfriend, listing her as a prostitute online and hacking her social media accounts was sentenced to four years in federal prison on Wednesday.
Thomas Traficante, 23, was charged with cyberstalking and distribution of a controlled substance for incidents that happened between October and December 2017.
He pleaded guilty in March 2018, according to Syracuse.com. Traficante threatened the victim, a SUNY Geneseo student, so explicitly that U.S. District Judge David G. Larimer felt Traficante's December arrest may have averted a tragedy - not only for the victim but for the Geneseo campus as a whole. He called Traficante's abuse psychological terrorism, according to the the Democrat and Chronicle in Rochester.
"If you had a modicum of intelligence," the judge said, "you should know that what you did, repeatedly, was despicable."
Traficante's three-month stalking was detailed in court records.
He repeatedly sent threatening messages to his ex, saying things like, "I'm in the house." When she changed her number he found her new one and left a voicemail for her and her housemates saying, "You're all crazy if you think I'm not still out there."
He put her new phone number on backpage.com, a now-defunct website that was often used to find sex workers, and she received more than 60 calls from men asking for sex.
He sent her cocaine and MDMA and then called police to say she had drugs, the court records say. He hacked her Amazon account and bought her a book called "I'm Watching You."
When Traficante pleaded guilty, he admitted that he sent the victim a text asking where she was, and sent her a screenshot of her location. One of his texts was threatening to the university itself, saying there were many organizations that hurt him, so he wanted to hurt them back.
In November 2017, he shot out the window of the victim's parents' car with a BB gun while they were in the house. He also shot out a window to the house itself.
When he was arrested in December, authorities found a loaded AR-15 rifle in his house, according to Syracuse.com.
In court on Wednesday, Traficante apologized to the victims and his own family. His father is a retired NYPD detective, according to the Democrat and Chronicle, and he wrote a letter to the judge asking for leniency.
"I'm sure someday my son will win back my trust," his father wrote.