A 32-year-old man in Windsor, Ont., was arrested Monday after he allegedly assumed control of a woman's Facebook page and pretended to be a stripper and prostitute.
In a media release, police said the man spent time on the Facebook account harassing the woman's friends and family for nearly a year.
At a news conference Wednesday, police alleged the man gained access to the woman's account after she borrowed a mobile device he owned.
He allegedly changed the account's permissions to gain access to several hundred friendships and create new contacts. According to police, he also posted photos of the victim accompanied by sexually explicit language.
"The suspect assumed the victim's Facebook account and identity to maliciously and publicly defame her reputation," police said.
Police said he also used Facebook to say the woman was a prostitute for hire, employed at a local strip club.
The woman was eventually fired from her real job because of the content on the Facebook page thought to be hers. However, according to police, she was reinstated after investigators spoke with her employer.
"Postings made by the suspect caused the victim obvious strife in her personal and professional life," police said.
The takeover allegedly happened in October 2012. The woman reported it to police in November 2012 and police said the man was still posting as recently as Sept. 7, 2013.
Police haven't released the woman's name, but said Wednesday she had no idea who was making the posts until the suspect was caught.
“I think she was being attacked at some point in time because she wouldn’t respond to his advancements,” said Sgt. Paul Jean of the police morality unit.
Investigators would not be too specific on how they finally zeroed on a suspect, but said it involved following a path of internet usage and he was arrested.
"We use specific methods in the police world, such as surveillance, to confirm that the person of interest is in fact the user," Jean said.
The suspect was identified after an extensive investigation by the Windsor police's morality and computer forensic analysis units and was arrested Monday.
Police officers seized his computer and cellphone as evidence after executing a search warrant on Bruce Avenue.
He faces the following charges:
- Obtaining identity information with inference a fraudulent offence was intended.
- Fraudulently obtaining computer service.
- Mischief in relation to data tampering.
- Mischief in relation to data obstruction.
- Mischief in relation to data damage.
- Mischief in relation to data access denial.
- Publishing defamatory libel known to be false.