This one is a bit different. Most of the time I write about physical violence. Many times that violence comes during a separation or breakup. All too often it ends in death. But physical violence is not the only type of violence. There is also harassment, mental abuse and risky behaviors.
Shawn Bauer and his girlfriend were breaking up. And as so often happens, custody of their child came into dispute.
Evidently Shawn Bauer decided to get creative. According to reports he decided to make a MySpace page in the name of his ex-girlfriend. And for the photos to be used on the page, he chose intimate photos he had of the ex-girlfriend. Very intimate, nude photos. And according to reports he encouraged men to call her.
The ex-girlfriend began receiving unsolicted telephone calls from men she didn’t know. So she contacted police. She told them she did not have an internet connection and she did not have a web page. While the officer was speaking with her, she got another telephone call from a man in another state.
The man said he had received a message from who he thought was the woman, and the message gave him the woman’s telephone number.
The woman told police she suspected her ex-boyfriend and said he had nude photos of her.
Police traced the webpage to the IP provider. Then traced it back to Shawn Bauer. Shawn Bauer has been charged with felony identity theft and two misdemeanor charges related to the creation of the webpage. He was given bond and scheduled for trial. If convicted he is facing up to 6 years in prison and fines up to $10,000. When officers talked with Bauer, he allegedly admitted he had made the webpage. But he told officers he had thrown the photos away and did not intend to bother the woman again.
Oh, the ex-girlfriend also went to court. She told the court she was being harassed and filed for a restraining order.
IMO, very dumb move as well as risky. No, he didn’t touch her. He thankfully did not use physical violence. But he put not only her, but the child at risk.
How? If the men who saw the MySpace page were able to trace the phone number, they may have come across the woman’s address. You never know just what kind of people are viewing webpages. If the men who saw the webpage were criminal or unstable, then they may have tried a physical visit, and her consent may not have been one of their concerns. If the child happened to be there, so what.
Mental abuse. Knowing that strangers of all types had seen intimate pictures of her, that they not only saw the pictures but had her phone number, must have been not only humiliating but also frightening.
The custody dispute…..this will most likely be brought up as will the restraining order it brought about.
He says he won’t bother her again, he threw away the photos. But once they go on the net, they are out there. How many people copied and saved them? Often the webpages are saved to the archives. There are some very talented people out there who are excellent at retrieving things like archived webpages, I have seen it. Once online, they are out there and available. It is not as easy as throwing away a print picture.
Often the internet is thought of as anonymous. Let me tell you, it isn’t. Even though no names are used, what is online can very often be traced. Law enforcement can trace almost anything, but even lay people can trace a lot. Nothing is truly ‘anonymous’.
Crossposted at CrimeNe.ws.com
And since he had his own MySpace, Bauer has also found a place of dis/’honor’ at MyCrimeSpace where Trench has a few choice words to say about Bauer’s personal MySpace page.