Orange County man pleads guilty to stalking Canadian ‘World of Warcraft’ gamer
A former Marine from Orange County pleaded guilty Monday to a federal stalking charge after he ran a lengthy harassment campaign against a professional gamer from Canada, according to authorities.
Evan Baltierra, 29, of Trabuco Canyon faces up to five years in prison, according to the U.S. attorney’s office for the Central District of California.
Baltierra moderated the gamer’s online channel, where she streamed live video of herself playing the popular multiplayer online role-playing game “World of Warcraft,” after she and Baltierra met online, according to charging documents filed in federal court.
They first met in person at the BlizzCon convention in Anaheim in November 2019, where the victim held a meet-and-greet event with her fans, according to the documents. Baltierra asked the woman to be his “valentine” online, but she refused because she was in a relationship.
The victim later learned from other people in the online community that Baltierra was trying to find her home address, and she blocked him from her social media accounts and her online stream channel, according to court documents.
“After this meeting, Baltierra asked to meet the victim in her hometown in Canada, which made her feel uncomfortable,” prosecutors said. “After the victim blocked Baltierra on various social media accounts, beginning in June 2020, Baltierra created hundreds of social media accounts to send the victim threatening messages.”
FBI agents arrest the former Marine on suspicion of stalking a woman who is a professional video game player in Canada.
A portion of a January 2021 message sent to the victim on Twitter read: “[t]imes ticking…waiting for the right opportunity.”
According to prosecutors, Baltierra hired an unknown third party in October 2020 to create multiple photoshopped nude images of the victim, editing her face onto pornographic images.
He posted the faked pictures to multiple pornographic websites and internet forums from November 2020 to March 2022, prosecutors said. He also sent the images to the victim’s friends and family, posted links to the images on social media and “told others online to search for the victim’s name to see naked pictures of her.”
The victim got a temporary restraining order against Baltierra in January 2021, but he started posting her personal information — including her name and city of residence, which were listed on the order — to social media and during her live video game streams, prosecutors said.
The harassment continued, prosecutors said, as he posted the victim’s Twitter handle to pornographic websites along with the photoshopped images.
“During the victim’s live streams of video games, Baltierra used multiple accounts to continually post harassing messages,” prosecutors said. “Baltierra’s spamming of the victim made it impossible for her to stream herself playing video games and forced her to stop streaming in February 2021.”
He and the victim reached a civil settlement in April 2021 and he agreed to not contact her, her family and friends, prosecutors said. The victim agreed to dissolve the temporary restraining order in return.
But two months later, Baltierra called the police department in the victim’s city and requested a welfare check “by lying to the police that the victim had made threats online that she was going to commit suicide,” according to the U.S. attorney’s office.
He also tried to get the victim’s home address during the phone call, prosecutors said. Officers later completed the welfare check at the victim’s home.
The former U.S. Olympic women’s volleyball player and model says on social media that an attacked by a homeless man left her bloodied and bruised in downtown Los Angeles.
The harassment continued as Baltierra sent the victim threatening messages from January to March of this year using several social media accounts, prosecutors said.
One of the messages read, “get a casket ready,” prosecutors said.
In March, he wrote a letter to the victim’s boyfriend’s parents stating that the situation was going to end badly for her, according to prosecutors.
Also in March, investigators served a search warrant at Baltierra’s home and took multiple devices, including his iPhone, desktop computer and multiple thumb drives along with a 9-millimeter handgun. Investigators found multiple emails used to harass the victim linked to Baltierra’s devices, along with his search history.
He was arrested May 23 by FBI agents at his home, according to federal prosecutors. He admitted to investigators that he harassed the woman.
“Baltierra also admitted to sending the victim an unsolicited suspicious package in March 2022 that later was determined to contain a box of condoms,” prosecutors said.
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