A U.S. Navy Captian was charged on Monday with a federal cyberstalking charge of a civilian woman for over a year.
Theodore E. Essenfeld, 51, of Chula Vista, is accused of creating fake social media accounts of the woman and posting “erotic and sexually explicit content'' online, including photos and videos she had privately shared with him
According to the indictment, over an 18-month period, Essenfeld registered fake Facebook, LinkedIn, email, and cellular phone accounts using the woman’s name, biographical information, and photographs without her knowledge or consent. Essenfeld posted erotic and sexually-explicit content to the Facebook account, including photos and videos of the woman that she had previously privately shared with him, as well as graphic media files, or “memes.”
According to the U.S. Attorney’s office, Essenfeld also used the imposter Facebook account to engage with Facebook-related dating services, which falsely made it appear that the woman was seeking dates, the indictment said.
“The indictment alleges a disturbing campaign of betrayed trust, harassment, and intimidation,” said U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman. “This Office is committed to protecting victims of cyberstalking and holding perpetrators accountable for malicious internet activity.” Grossman thanked the prosecution team and Naval Criminal Investigative Service agents for their excellent work on this case.
If you or someone you know has experienced cyberstalking by an active duty service member, contact the following anonymous tip lines: www.ncis.navy.mil (Navy and Marines), https://www.cid.army.mil/report-a-crime.html (Army), and https://www.osi.af.mil/Submit-a-Tip/ (Air Force), or call the Department of Defense Hotline at (800) 424-9098. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, victims of cyberstalking by non-active duty members should contact local law enforcement or the FBI or HSI field office.