Pennsylvania man stalked wife with car tracking device: feds

The man began stalking her after she sought a Pennsylvania Protection from Abuse Order, officials said.

The man began stalking her after she sought a Pennsylvania Protection from Abuse Order, officials said.

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A husband stalked and harassed his estranged wife for over a year after she sought a protective order against him — including by placing a “discreet” tracking device on her car, federal officials say.

The woman was issued a Temporary Protection from Abuse Order after she reported the man had placed his hands around her throat and threw her to the ground in March 2021, according to court records. The document ordered that her husband refrain from abusing, harassing, stalking , threatening and contacting her.

He was also ordered to move from the home they shared and barred from possessing any firearms during the duration of the order, officials said.

But the man continued to violate the protective order through May 2022, officials say, and now has been charged with cyberstalking by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh.

McClatchy News is not naming the 54-year-old man, from the city of Washington, to protect the identity of his estranged wife. The man’s defense attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment on July 15.

In an indictment filed in court, authorities provided several accusations against the Pennsylvania man.

The accusations include:

  • In April 2021, they say he changed the email associated with her AT&T account to one of his email addresses, forcing her to change her phone number. He was later accused of accessing her PayPal account, too.
  • The man took a rifle from her home in May 2021, placing his wife “in reasonable fear of death or serious bodily injury and caused substantial emotional distress,” according to court records.
  • Authorities say he uploaded a post with “lewd sexual allegations” about his wife to Reddit, including a sexual image of a woman who looked like her.
  • In September 2021, he placed a “discreet tracking device” on her car, according to court records. Then, a few months later, he began sending text messages to relatives and friends about her location. The device was on her car until one of her relatives found it in December 2021.
  • Authorities say the man removed a home security camera from her home in January 2022.
  • For months, officials say he spammed her with anonymous text messages with a company that disguised his phone number.
  • In May 2022, the man was accused of breaking into her home, which she had recently sold.

If convicted, the man faces up to 10 years in prison, a fine up to $250,000 and three years of supervised release.

Kaitlyn Alanis is a McClatchy National Real-Time Reporter based in Kansas. She is an agricultural communications & journalism alumna of Kansas State University.

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