Crime, Police/Fire

Texas man sentenced to 18 months in prison for cyberstalking, swatting Baltimore County woman

BALTIMORE, MD—A Texas man has been sentenced to prison for cyberstalking and “swatting” a Baltimore County woman.

U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett has sentenced Desmond Babloo Singh, 20, of Temple, Texas, to 18 months in federal prison, followed by one year of home detention as part of three years of supervised release, for two counts of cyberstalking.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron; Special Agent in Charge James R. Mancuso of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Baltimore; and Chief Melissa R. Hyatt of the Baltimore County Police Department.

According to his guilty plea, from April 18, 2020, to November 24, 2020, Singh used more than 100 different social media accounts, phone accounts, and various electronic communication tools to send harassing messages to a Baltimore County woman. The hundreds of public social media posts, text messages, and private social media messages included threats of death, bodily injury, sexualized violence, and racial slurs. Many of the accounts created and used by Singh incorporated the woman’s name, making it appear as if the accounts were owned and operated by her.

In early 2020, Singh sent the victim online communications expressing his romantic interest in her. After she rebuffed Singh’s advances and asked him not to contact her, Singh commenced a months’ long cyberstalking campaign against both her and another male, the latter of whom Singh viewed as a romantic rival.

Singh frequently used the fraudulent accounts he created to denigrate the woman’s character, appearance, and make the assertion that she was “obsessed” with him. Singh’s harassing conduct included, among other things, numerous implied threats of bodily injury or death. Singh used a fraudulent social media account to send the female victim an image in which the faces of her and her family members were superimposed on the faces of several individuals hanging from nooses. In another edited picture, Singh superimposed the woman’s mother’s face on the body of a grieving woman at a grave site.

On or about July 19, 2020, the female victim received a “follow” request on a social media platform from an account that Singh created. On this account, Singh had posted pictures of her and her family home. Additionally, Singh posted her parents’ address in Maryland and stated there would be a party there the following day. The following day, July 20, 2020, a Baltimore County Police Department employee received an anonymous email telling law enforcement to investigate a possible bomb at the parents’ home. Law enforcement officers responded to the residence only to learn that the bomb threat was a hoax. The federal investigation into Singh’s conduct revealed that Singh had solicited another individual to make the anonymous claim, in order to provoke an emergency police response to the female victim’s parents’ home, referred to as “swatting.”

Singh also posted the woman’s personal information online including her birthdate, name, personal phone number, school, social media identities, and other identifying information, a form of online harassment is commonly referred to as “doxing”.

During the investigation of Singh’s harassment campaign, investigators discovered notes in Singh’s phone that documented his plans to harass the woman, including the plans to physically assault her family members, post over 10,000 messages relating to her friends, harass the male victim, and take pictures of the woman in real life.

Singh not only harassed the female victim, but he also harassed the male victim, whom he perceived to be a romantic rival. As he had done with the female, Singh created numerous social media accounts incorporating the man’s real name and publicly posted his personal information. Using an anonymous account, Singh posted a video of an unidentifiable person knocking on the door of the man’s former residence with a caption telling him to answer the door. Singh later posted the same video on an online platform which included his name, his former address, and a statement stating that he went to his residence to fight him.

Singh had pleaded guilty to the charges back in December.

Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

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