Miami student sentenced to 22 months in prison for cyberstalking on social media

MIAMI (WSVN) - A 23-year-old woman who made over 900 unwanted calls and text messages to a victim was sentenced to 22 months in prison for cyberstalking, Tuesday, according to officials.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida announced that Kassandra Cruz was sentenced to 22 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, a $100 special assessment and $2,178.32 in restitution. The sentence stemmed from her conviction on one count of cyberstalking, according to the statement.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Cruz sent a friend request to the victim, who was not named, in June 2015 on her Instagram and Facebook accounts. In order to gain the victim’s friendship, Cruz created a false persona on her Instagram account, portraying herself as a male named “Giovanni,” described as an active U.S. Marine, the statement said.

The victim accepted the request and, according to the statement, Cruz, liked and commented on pictures that the victim posted on her Instagram and Facebook accounts from June to September of 2015. The victim then blocked Cruz from all of her social media accounts, at which point Cruz threatened the victim would face repercussions at her job and with her family, according to the statement.

The statement said that Cruz threatened to “expose” the victim’s past if she did not comply. Cruz persisted in her threats on social media and later with text messages, before ultimately demanding that the victim give her $100,000 in exchange for her to stop, according to the statement.

The statement said Cruz threatened that she “knew where [the victim’s] family lived, and they should watch their backs because someone would be heading to … deal with them.”

Cruz then started calling and texting the victim since the beginning of 2016, and the messages continued until late April of 2016, according to the statement. Ultimately, Cruz was arrested during a pre-arranged meeting.

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