CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA — A man who used Facebook and the mail to stalk another person pleaded guilty Friday, Feb. 19, in federal court in Cedar Rapids, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Northern District of Iowa.
Michael Shawn McGuire, age 57, from Cresco, Iowa, was convicted of four counts of cyberstalking a Kandiyohi County woman.
At the plea hearing, McGuire admitted that he used Facebook and the mail to engage in conduct to harass and intimidate another person and cause substantial emotional distress to that person.
Evidence from a previous hearing in this case established that between Aug. 25, 2018, and May 25, 2019, numerous yard signs were posted where the victim resided in Minnesota, according to a news release from the U.S. District Attorney.
The victim and defendant had dated for a short time. In September 2018, the woman reported to the Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Office that she was being harassed by the defendant on Facebook. An investigation by the sheriff’s office identified three Facebook pages under different names but created by McGuire. The pages contained lewd statements, a sexually explicit video and photographs of the victim.
The original charges said that McGuire placed revenge porn on Facebook pages he created, and sent nude photographs of the victim to her friends, family and co-workers, as well as a number of businesses and organizations in Willmar, Benson, New London and Spicer. He also allegedly placed the photographs and lewd statements on signs in public places including cafes, a service station and the yards of churches in Kandiyohi and Renville counties. Along with photos of the victim, some of the materials placed on signs in public places included her name and contact information, according to the charges.
The signs were sexually explicit and contained the victim’s name, telephone number, address, and email address. During this same time period, various friends, family members, and associates of the victim received sexually explicit mailings with semi-nude photos of the victim. In addition, various Facebook profiles sent similar semi-nude photos to some of the victim’s contacts through Facebook and various fake dating profiles associated with the victim were created, according to the district attorney's office.
Sentencing before United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams will be set after a presentence report is prepared. McGuire remains in custody of the United States Marshal pending sentencing. McGuire faces a possible maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment, a possible $250,000 fine per count, and up to 3 years of supervised release following any imprisonment.