By Allan Lengel
Advances in technology over the years have opened up new ways to communicate. It has also provided more opportunities for crimes.
Derik Wayne Bowers, 44, of Hagerstown, Maryland, faces one count of cyberstalking after using social media to harass and intimidate his ex-girlfriend, the Justice Department announced Monday
An indictment out of Martinsburg, West Virginia, alleges that Bowers harassed and intimidated his former girlfriend in Morgan County, W.V., through text messages, phone calls and Facebook.
In December 2022, he called the Morgan County victim 815 times during a 48-hour period, authorities charged. Additionally, he sent the woman thousands of harassing text messages over a several month period.
“Bowers also used social media posts to embarrass her and interfere with her livelihood,” authorities said in a press release.
“Cyberstalking is a pervasive problem that we treat very seriously in West Virginia,” said U.S. Attorney William Ihlenfeld. “I encourage those who are being intimidated online and who suffer substantial emotional distress as a result to file a police report so that wrongdoers may be investigated and held to account.”
If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison.
The case was investigated by the FBI and the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office.