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Geneva – Obsessive virtual stalker in court

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A young woman is suspected of having sent hundreds of emails, messages and comments to an ex and his new partner, as well as to his teachers.

Hundreds of emails and messages have been sent from fake addresses and fictitious accounts.

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“We have the impression of being in a Netflix series,” said the president of the Geneva Police Tribunal on Friday, judging what she called a “non-standard” affair.

On the dock, L. is suspected of having “obsessively and lastingly harassed” half a dozen plaintiffs. The charges are numerous: threats, slander, insult, coercion or even slanderous denunciation. With her, D., a former classmate and ex-lover, is warned of complicity in the second part.

Some 900 emails were sent from around 50 email addresses. False accounts created on social networks would also have allowed the accused to denigrate or fake liking and to write hundreds of comments and malicious messages. To top it off, food orders were placed improperly. This important case of “stalking” (obsessive harassment, editor’s note) took place, according to the prosecution, in two phases and over several years (see box).

The facts listed in the prosecution’s indictment unfolded in two phases. In 2017, L. was accused, after a brief relationship with one of the complainants, of breaking into his email and social media accounts in order to send himself and send messages to third parties. She is also suspected of having threatened him and flooding his profiles, as well as those of his new partner, with derogatory comments, fake likes and fake requests for subscriptions. The two alleged victims had to spend several hours a day cleaning their pages, some of which were professional or for profit, such as a travel blog. Despite mediation, the defendant is accused of having continued her actions.

The second part took place within the Adult College. “A real tsunami,” said the president of the Police Court. L. is accused of having, for three months, “obsessively and lastingly persecuted” one of his teachers. The indictment mentions emails sent to the professor, then to her spouse, but also to the management of the establishment, via addresses created for the occasion. Many messages and emails with an explicit sexual connotation and containing numerous insults, reported an intimate relationship between the teacher and the student. These accusations, also relayed on other media, would have allowed the accused to pose as a victim, together with her teacher.

In both parts, death threats were allegedly sent by the defendant to various complainants.

From the president’s questions, it emerges that L. was already involved in a harassment case when she was in college. At its peak, 50 messages had been sent the same evening to a teacher.

Having left the institution without completing her training, she then continued her studies at the Adult College successfully. With her maturity in her pocket, she entered law school for two years before moving towards a private detective training which she is due to start soon.

“I realized that I was naive on social networks, my accounts were public,” she argued in order to make the judges understand that she did not have the skills to perform the acts that were to her reproached. The accused defended herself from being addicted to the internet and described her relationship to the virtual world as “normal for someone my age”.

“I never wanted to ruin his life”

In court, L. contested almost all of the charges, except for a few “comments” on the first part of the case. The young woman denied any desire for revenge towards her ex, initially describing a relationship marked by “respect” before describing her alleged victim as “inconstant”, which “scared her”.

From their post-relationship reports, she will say that they exchanged regularly. “I never wanted to sabotage his travel account, or ruin his life.” The two alleged victims had not made the trip to give their version of the facts, but many complaints had been filed in this case.

Fear and stress for months

But to read the indictment, this first part was only an appetizer, compared to the case which rocked a volley of the college for adults in 2019. “A real tsunami”, imaged the president of the Police Court.

At the center of the harassment, recipient of hundreds of emails, his French teacher, main alleged victim, testified to “an unhealthy game, an erotomaniac delirium generating fear, anxieties and stress” which disturbed even his private life . His then-companion abounded, recounting the weeks barricaded in the house, with a machete. Rumors of a relationship between the teacher and the accused, conveyed by emails and messages, disrupted the life of the establishment, testified its director, recounting the relief felt during the arrest of L. an accomplice in this second part, D. has defended himself from any involvement, describing his former girlfriend as “manipulative, liar and toxic”.

The prosecution, absent at the hearing, requested 11 months in prison with a three-year suspended sentence, as well as suspended pecuniary sentences against L. The alleged accomplice risks 4 months in suspended prison and days -fines, under the same regime. Their two lawyers pleaded guilty. The verdict will not be handed down until a few weeks.

At the opening of the hearing, it appeared that the harassed teacher had, since the facts, left her companion at the time to enter into a relationship with the alleged accomplice of the defendant, with whom he had maintained a relationship of several months. facts. It was the departed lover who informed the court of this new relationship in a vitriolic letter in which he says the couple are laughing at the justice. L.’s defense rebounded on these elements to request new investigations and a postponement of the hearing, without success.

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