Domestic abuser sentenced for cyberstalking ex-girlfriend
A man with a history of domestic violence offenses in Alaska and beyond has been sentenced to serve more than three years behind bars for cyberstalking his ex-girlfriend.
Jeffery Ray Ward, 41, was sentenced Monday to serve 40 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release.
Ward pleaded guilty in September to one count of cyberstalking in violation of a domestic violence protective order. He also has a previous conviction in Anchorage for domestic violence involving the same victim.
The victim reported to Anchorage Police on April 16, 2017, that Ward violated the conditions of release, where the court ordered him to have no contact with the victim, by threatening to put the victim's "dirt on blast". That's when, according to court documents, Ward hacked into the victim's social media accounts and posted nude, sexually explicit photos for all of her hundreds of friends and family members to see.
Court documents also state that Ward took it a step further by changing the email address associated with the victim's account, making it impossible for the victim to regain control and change her passwords. Ward also impersonated the victim in direct messages with an ex-boyfriend, engaging in sexually explicit communications, the U.S. Attorney's Office says.
At his sentencing, Chief U.S. District Judge Timothy M. Burgess advised Ward that, "to call this a serious crime is an understatement," and stated that he was "concerned about protecting other women" in the community.
“Our highest priority is prevention of violent crime,” said prosecuting U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder. “While a significant amount of our efforts go toward drug trafficking-related and firearms based violent crime, domestic violence is an insidious threat to Alaskan families. Where appropriate, the U.S. Attorney’s Office will bring charges to hold domestic abusers accountable.”
The case was investigated by the Anchorage Police Department.
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