Michigan man convicted of cyberstalking in phony romance scheme
SAN DIEGO -- A 29-year-old Michigan man was convicted of interstate stalking for plotting to kill a woman and her boyfriend after the woman’s picture was used to engage him in a phony romance over the Internet.
Brian Curtis Hile of Fremont, Mich., had been duped in a so-called cat-fishing scheme to believe he was having an online romance with a woman.
“Romantic communications and explicit photographs” were exchanged, according to federal prosecutors. Among the photographs were pictures of his penis.
Enraged, Hile searched the Internet to locate the name of the woman. The woman, a bikini model who lives in San Diego County, had apparently had her photographs compromised over the Internet years earlier, prosecutors said.
She was unaware that her picture was being used by the person duping Hile. That person, a man, is believed to live in South Africa.
Hile found out the woman’s name, telephone number, email address and personal information such as her favorite restaurant and came to San Diego. Similar information was found for her boyfriend, prosecutors said. Hile took a bus to San Diego.
He was found with duct tape, zip ties and a list of needed supplies such as a knife, chloroform and a trench coat, according to evidence submitted during the trial in San Diego federal court. When arrested, he was within a few miles of the woman’s home.
Hile faces a maximum 10-year sentence. If he had harmed anyone during the stalking, the maximum sentence could have been 20 years.
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