Cyberbullying restaurant owner gets 90 days in jail

A 42-year-old Ottawa restaurant owner has been sentenced to 90 days in jail and probation for two years after she was found guilty of libel for cyberbullying a restaurant reviewer.

Marisol Simoes sent lewd emails to reviewer's boss, created fake account on adult dating site

90 days for online harassment

11 years ago
Duration 2:09
Ottawa restaurant owner jailed after online attack on negative reviewer.

An Ottawa restaurant owner has been sentenced to 90 days in jail and probation for two years after she was found guilty of libel against a restaurant reviewer.

Marisol Simoes, 42, was found guilty in September of sending lewd emails to the boss of Elayna Katz after the Ottawa woman posted bad reviews of her restaurant, Mambo Nuevo Latino, in 2009.

Simoes also set up a fake account under Katz's name on an adult dating site after Katz visited Simoes’ ByWard Market restaurant and requested olives be left off her entrée.

Simoes also owns sushi restaurant, Kinki, in the Byward Market.

After the sentence was handed down, Katz said she was "very happy" about the outcome knowing it was a precedent-setting case.

"All I was doing was exercising my right as a customer to give my opinion on the situation as it was," she said. "I don't think the retaliation was exactly merited."

Even though the libel remains on the internet, which Katz called a "graveyard," she said she hopes her reputation has been preserved.

Katz also said the case raises issues surrounding cyberbullying that "doesn't only affect teenagers." 

Simoes was also ordered to take an anger management course, receive mandatory counselling and work 200 hours of community service.