Key West Man Arrested for Cyberstalking College Students Suspected in Florida Cases

December 13, 2010 by David S. Seltzer

A newspaper article from over the weekend caught my eye as a Miami-Dade cyber crime criminal defense attorney. The Associated Press reported Dec. 10 that a South Florida man, 27-year-old Mitchell Hill, has been arrested for cyberstalking young women at Louisiana State University. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement says Hill, of Key West, is also a suspect in the stalking of female students at Florida State, the University of Florida and other schools. He is facing 12 counts of attempted video voyeurism, two counts of actual video voyeurism and two counts of extortion. The extortion counts alone could get him as many as 30 years in prison. An LSU campus police sergeant said he hoped the case would raise students’ awareness of how much they share online.

Hill is accused of contacting the victims online and pretending to be an alum of their sororities. He allegedly gathered information about the women’s lives through Facebook and other online sources, then used that information to “prove” he was really an older sorority sister. Using “her” status in the sorority to threaten the victims’ status, Hill would ask personal questions and demand nude pictures. A Florida State student who may be one of Hill’s victims told the newspaper the perpetrator said two girls outside her dorm would “handle” her, after she refused to send nude pictures. She developed insomnia and eventually left school temporarily. She plans to return in January and said she’s pleased that Hill is in jail. He will likely remain there for some time, because he cannot be extradited to Louisiana until a Florida drunk driving charge against him is resolved.

Fortunately for Hill, he already has an attorney defending him from that charge and on extradition. Someone facing charges this serious certainly needs a lawyer protecting their rights and interests from the start. However, in a situation like this, he’d be well served to hire a south Florida cyber crime criminal defense lawyer in addition or instead. The article notes that authorities have already taken Hill’s computer, which suggests a forensic data search. This kind of search should be monitored by a criminal defense attorney, both for potential Fourth Amendment violations and to protect clients from technically inexperienced officers. Not all police officers understand technology, and it’s possible for them to interpret benign or falsified information as evidence of a crime. As a Fort Lauderdale cyber crime criminal defense attorney, I will do my own forensic investigation whenever necessary to show how viruses or other computer users may have affected the evidence.

If you’re facing Florida criminal charges related to technology or the Internet, you need an experienced cyber crime lawyer like David S. Seltzer. Seltzer Law, P.A. offers free, confidential case evaluations, and we take calls 24 hours a day and seven days a week. To learn more or set up a free consultation, call us today at 1-888-THE-DEFENSE (1-888-843-3333) or send us a message online.