B.C. man facing new charges over revenge website targeting ex-wife
Patrick Fox defied order to end online harassment: 'I will never take down the website'
A British Columbia man convicted of running a revenge website targeting his ex-wife has been arrested again — charged with continuing to defy court demands that he pull down the offensive site.
Patrick Henry Fox, 46, faces two new counts of breach of probation for operating the website contrary to orders from the B.C. Supreme Court and B.C. Provincial Court.
The site falsely accuses his former spouse, Desiree Capuano, of being a white supremacist, a drug addict and a child abuser, and calls her a "horrible, lying, sociopathic monster."
It also contains intimate photos.
The new charges come less than a month after Fox finished serving time for defying a previous B.C. Supreme Court order to remove the site.
On Aug. 19, a Provincial Court judge in Vancouver set the terms of his release and probation — again demanding the website come down within 48 hours of his exit from jail.
That same day, a defiant new post appeared on Fox's site.
"I told the judge 'that's just not going to happen,'" the entry states.
The post, entitled "Dear David Eby," taunts the judicial system and dares B.C.'s attorney general to rearrest him.
"They can lock me up for te [sic] rest of my life, but I will never take down the website," the post continues.
Fox was arrested in Vancouver on Thursday.
Authorities have been unable to remove the revenge website because it's operated through a server in a foreign country.
Rearrest 'a godsend': Capuano
Capuano, who lives in Arizona, said in an interview with CBC News she's "very grateful" the Canadian judicial system has taken the case so seriously.
"I am very relieved that he's back in custody. And honestly, the buffer that the legal system in Vancouver has given me has just been a godsend," an emotional Capuano said. "It's very difficult when he is out of jail, because I know that he is waiting and looking for anything that he can use to hurt me. And it's a very scary situation."
Capuano's Vancouver lawyer said Fox's quick rearrest should serve as a wake-up call to others thinking of posting revenge sites.
"This has been a precedent-setting case from the beginning. It demonstrates that the criminal justice system is taking internet harassment seriously," David Georgetti said. "These most recent charges serve as a stark warning to online harassers that their conduct can attract ... serious criminal sanctions."
Maximum penalty sought
Special prosecutor Chris Johnson said the Crown will be seeking the maximum penalty of two years in prison for Fox's alleged breach of probation.
He praised Vancouver police for making a quick arrest.
"Vancouver police did a great job in investigating an unrepentant Patrick Fox for repeatedly operating a website which damns and attempts to humiliate his former spouse," Johnson told CBC News.
Johnson said he'll be asking the courts to keep Fox behind bars pending trial.
Fox, who in the past has acted as his own lawyer, wasn't available for comment.
History of harassment
Fox and Capuano married in Nevada in 2000 and lived together in Arizona.
They had a son, but the marriage failed within a year and a bitter custody battle ensued.
Capuano reported Fox to a U.S. tipline for living illegally in the United States, and he was deported to Canada.
By April 2014, the revenge website appeared online.
CBC News first broke the story in 2016.
In November 2017, Fox was convicted of criminally harassing Capuano in what was found to be an attempt to ruin her life and force her to commit suicide.
"Don't think for one second that anything will ever be more important to me than destroying you," he wrote in an email presented as evidence at his trial.
In addition to criminal harassment, Fox was also found guilty of shipping several guns inside a computer to the U.S.
Fox was sentenced to almost four years in prison, minus time served awaiting trial. He was released in December 2018.
His probation condition required him to take down the site, but it remained up.
In March 2019, Fox was charged with breaching his probation and taken into custody.
Last month, 17 months later, Fox was sentenced to an additional six months for that breach, reduced to just one day due to time already served behind bars.
Like the B.C. Supreme Court, the Provincial Court ordered that the site be pulled down.
Again, it stayed up.
'I just don't give a f--k'
Despite the new charges against Fox, the website remains online.
In his last post taunting the authorities, he foretold his own future.
"By the time you read this I will probably be back in custody, but in case you haven't figured it out, I just don't give a f--k."
Fox is scheduled to make his first court appearance on these latest breach of probation charges on Sept. 24.
In the meantime, Capuano said she's doing her best to get on with her life.
"I will take any amount of time that I get to live a normal life. And when he gets out again, I will hold my breath and wait for the next thing that he does, because that is my life and that is what I do."
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