Impersonation with the Intent to Cause Harm

Lisa-Michelle Kucharz Impersonation Facebook Fried Request Cyberbullying Online Harassment

Four years ago today, the online harassment against me intensified with impersonation accounts. I watched in horror as strangers, friends, family, and professional connections were contacted and exposed to horrific lies. The imposter accounts were accompanied by defamatory comments, blogs, posts on third-party websites, threats of violence, hate speech, round-the-clock ridicule, and hundreds of direct messages.

The cyberstalking and harassment continued for years. The accused was eventually arrested for criminal harassment and subsequently for obstruction of justice. She pleaded guilty to criminal harassment and was sentenced to six months in prison and a two-year probation, including a prohibition from using any device that could connect to the internet.

During the following months Ms. Kucharz received numerous messages from fake social media accounts impersonating her. She had a person message her place of work. She received ongoing emails and messages from numerous accounts. — Counsel for the Crown C. Fraser

It seems that there was an element of jealousy and [the defendant] took it out on the internet and maligned quite cruelly sometimes, the complainant. She has expressed regret for her behaviour . . . Without doubt, the messages online were horrid and we heard the victim impact statement, which was quite compelling. — Counsel for the Defendant K. Edward

Excerpts from the official transcripts of proceedings before the Honourable Justice G. Gage in Hamilton, Ontario at the guilty plea on July 31, 2017, and sentencing on October 2, 2017.

Some of the defamatory content lives on, continuing to be a menace and tarnish my reputation.

My experience with impersonation and online harassment was devastating, and it also was a painful eye-opener to what many youth face today. No one should have to endure online abuse, especially youth.

Today, it’s reassuring to see so many people and organizations helping to diminish cyberbullying. Together, we can make our cyber-world safer and kinder.