A man who’s been accused of texting photos of his penis to at least a half-dozen women has provoked outrage among those victims who are using social media as a tool to expose him.
A Facebook page created around a hashtag with the word ‘stop,’ and the culprit’s name — which The Signal has chosen not to publish pending a criminal investigation — had 160 members as of Friday afternoon.
The women whom The Signal spoke with — all who had never met the man in question — want something done to stop him texting sexually explicit photos and videos.
A unique technology-age problem is emerging, however.
While women are now able to use social media to discuss their concern, that same media is being used to harass members of the alleged sender’s family.
What remains clear is the heated demand by the women he’s victimized that something be done to stop him.
“We want him banned from using any kind of social media,” said Jackie Chowdhury, who vowed to not let fear stand in the way of her trying to stop the abuse.
“I worry about what happens if he finds out where I live,” she said. “But that fear cannot hold me down — and, it cannot shut me up.”
Chowdhury wants other women victimized by the culprit’s actions to be emboldened by her initiative and to join her in calling for an end to the abuse.
For her, the abuse began three years ago with an innocent text sent to her from someone she did not know.
“I was on Facebook and this guy just randomly messages me, saying, ‘Hey,’ so I said, ‘hi.’ Then, he asked ‘how are you?’ and I replied ‘I do not know you. I don’t think I’m the person you want.
“He replied saying something like, ‘It’s not a disappointment at all, clearly you’re a bitch.”
Chowdhury blocked the caller, only to get a message from the same man using a different social media profile.
“Seven months later, I get a message from a different profile but it’s him,” she said, noting she blocked the new call number.
“Six times I’ve blocked him,” she said.
Another woman interviewed this week by The Signal received photos of a penis — purported to be that of the same man texting the image — seven years after he sent her his first text message.
She wanted only her first name — Kate — used in the story because, she said, she’s fearful he may react violently.
Fear is what stopped her from blocking his texts, she said.
And, her fears are not groundless.
The man identified by the Facebook group was sentenced a year ago to 30 days in jail after being convicted of spousal assault.
Deputies with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station arrested him in February 2017.
Kate and Chowdhury each said they were told by sheriff’s deputies when contacted that nothing could be done about the texting since no violence or threat of violence had been made.
A check Friday with the local sheriff’s detective assigned to investigate cases of alleged sexual abuse, a criminal charge could be laid but that the difficulty rests with identifying which particular offense applies.
Chowdhury, in her research, was advised by one woman responding to her Facebook page that the crime is addressed in California’s Penal Code, specifically section 653m, which pertains to annoying phone calls and “electronic communication.”
Section 653m reads: Every person who, with intent to annoy, telephones or makes contact by means of an electronic communication device with another and addresses to or about the other person any obscene language or addresses to the other person any threat to inflict injury to the person or property of the person addressed or any member of his or her family, is guilty of a misdemeanor.
With the exception of his arrest and conviction for spousal assault, the man named by members of the Facebook group has not been charged with any crime relating to the texts, according to the results of a regular online search of arrest records.
This hasn’t stopped women like Kate coming forward in an attempt to stop the abuse.
“I would never be able to live with myself,” she told The Signal this week. “If he did the same violent thing to a wom
“I want to make sure the (victimized) girls have a chance to talk about it,” she said.
Kate said she received her first text from the man seven years ago.
“His texts just said, ‘Hey’ or ‘how are you?’ and ‘hey, sexy,’” Kate said. “Then the texts were, ‘I love you’ and ‘I want to see you.’”
Kate said she just ignored him — until he resurfaced in July.
“That’s when he sent me a picture of his genitals,” she said, noting that aside from her initial response, she has never exchanged text messages with him. She chose, instead, to ignore him.
“He’s talking to the universe,” he said, “and no one is listening.”
His victims, however, are talking and listening to each other.
On Twitter @jamesarthurholt