Patrick Fox, a Burnaby, B.C., man who told CBC in February that he created a website to "destroy" his ex-wife, has been charged in Canada with criminal harassment and a weapons offence after he was arrested by U.S. border agents in Washington state.

"It doesn't take down the website and it doesn't stop the things that are still happening," said Desiree Capuano, who has been trying to get the site shut down for two years.

"I'm very thankful to the Crown for understanding the seriousness of the situation and taking action," she said from her lawyer's office in Tucson, Ariz.

Capuano, who has custody of their teenage son in Arizona, first complained to RCMP last summer, saying she feared for her life and was being constantly harassed on a website Fox created.

Fox, who is also known by his birth name of Richard Riess, appeared on June 17 in Vancouver provincial court where he was charged with criminal harassment and possession of firearms in an unauthorized location.

Blurred image of composite

Patrick Fox, a.k.a. Richard Riess, told CBC News in February that the website he created was designed to make his ex-wife's 'life as miserable as possible.' (CBC)

Fox's website depicts his ex-wife as a drug-addicted child abuser.

Capuano said the content is vulgar and demeaning and has prevented her from getting permanent employment.

When CBC News first reported on Fox's website, the RCMP had investigated her complaints.

"Burnaby RCMP conducted an investigation.… Crown counsel did not approve charges," wrote Cpl. Daniela Panesar, in an email Jan 19, 2016.

A spokesperson for the Crown told CBC then that one factor in not laying charges was that Capuano lived in Arizona and the accused lived in B.C.

Several legal experts disagreed with that reasoning after CBC reported Fox's admission that he'd have "no qualms" about killing his ex-wife if it were legal.

Desiree and Patrick

Desiree Capuano says her ex-husband Patrick Fox's 'sick fixation' on her is frightening. (Desiree Capuano/Facebook)

Arrested in Washington state

The RCMP subsequently reopened their investigation and then were called by U.S. authorities on May 27 after Fox was arrested near Lynden, Wash.

"He illegally entered the United States," said Jason Givens of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

"Due to his prior criminal convictions and previous deportation, he is unable to legally enter the United States," said Givens.

Patrick Fox (right) with son who is at the centre of a nasty custody fight.

Fox (right) poses with his son, who was at the centre of a custody fight. (Facebook)

Fox was detained in a Tacoma, Wash., jail for three weeks until he was turned over to the RCMP on Thursday, and deported from the U.S. for the fourth time.

Criminal history in U.S.

Patrick Henry Fox has a history of using different identities, including his birth name, Richard Riess.

Under that name he was convicted and sentenced to two years in prison in Arizona in 2009 for falsely claiming to be a U.S. citizen.

Capuano said she was terrified when police recently notified her that Fox had made it across the border, and she is still frustrated they did not charge him sooner. 

"I don't know why it took him crossing the border for a fourth time. At least he was caught," she said.

"I am more scared now than I have ever been in my entire life," she said, fearful he will attempt to cross the border again if released.  

The new charges allege his conduct over a 16-month period amount to criminal harassment.

Police allege the crime began on Jan 11, 2015, which is the same day Fox sent an email to Capuano stating he intended "to do everything in my power and capabilities to make your life as miserable as possible.… to the point that you ultimately commit suicide.… it is imperative that you experience as much misery, disappointment and suffering as possible first."

That and subsequent emails are published on the website, which is hosted in Iceland.

'This website will still be here'

Fox said in an earlier interview he would not take down the website until his ex-wife is dead or "destitute and homeless."

Last post on website

'This website is still here,' writes Fox on his last post to the website. (CBC)

"Tomorrow, and next month, and next year, this website will still be here.… to make Desiree's life a little more dreary," reads the most recent post, four days before Fox was arrested in Washington.

"All of your whining and complaining, all of your talk of getting the government, the police, and the prosecutors to do something about it, has accomplished abso-f--king-lutely nothing!" he posted.

Lost job offer over website

Fox also posted that employees from a local college, where Capuano had applied for a full-time job, had visited the website.

"I was given an offer and a start date and I passed the background check" said Capuano.

Desiree Capuano

Desiree Capuano says she just wants to move on with her life, but can't escape the online attacks of her former partner. (KVOA/Tucson)

"But the job was revoked because of the issues with website."

Firearms charge

Fox is also charged with possessing his registered firearms in a location that is not permitted. The legal documents prepared to obtain the search warrant of Fox's Burnaby apartment are sealed.

A neighbour confirmed to CBC that Fox moved out of his rented apartment in Burnaby.

Fox missed an Arizona court appearance, by phone, to appeal Capuano's protection order against him on June 7.

The judge upheld the order, which calls Fox's conduct "domestic abuse" and forbids him from having any contact with his ex-wife.

​Fox is still in custody in Vancouver, awaiting a bail hearing.

Desiree Capuano and now 15 year old son in playful family portrait

Capuano and her son, who is now 15 years old, pose in an earlier family portrait. (Desiree Capuano )

"Maybe one day soon I'll be able to have a life again," said Capuano, who hopes the charges might force Fox to remove the website.


CBC News Investigates

CBC News Investigates

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