DETROIT — A judge in Detroit is going public with her experience of online harassment to warn other people about the dangers of stalking.
Wayne County Judge Vonda Evans discovered Saturday that an Indiana man in his early 30s had been stalking her on Twitter and Facebook since nearly the beginning of July, the Detroit News (http://detne.ws/2uIZw9o ) reported.
Evans alleged the man sent her explicit and graphic tweets, including a photo of his private body parts.
“When I would see a man, I thought, ‘Is that him?'” she said of walking outside. “I literally was terrorized.”
The suspect’s social media pages also indicated he had connections in Detroit, which Evans initially thought meant the man was also in Detroit. She noted he was even trying to call her through social media accounts.
Evans went to Detroit police on Saturday after reporting the man on Twitter and warning him to stop tweeting at her. Evans said that even though the man apologized for his messages, he began following her again under another name.
Police learned the man was sent from Indiana to Atlanta to live with his brother due to mental health-related concerns. Police spokesman Michael Woody said the repeated communication is being investigated.
Evans said no arrest warrant has been issued and Atlanta police are watching the man.
The judge said she wanted other people, especially women, to hear her story because “so many people are suffering in silence.”
“Stalking is so very powerful and the fear takes over you,” Evans said. “I wanted to speak up and out. I’m now on a one-woman crusade … if it can happen to me, it can happen to you.”
She said she plans to keep her social media accounts active.
“Social media is a platform for me to empower and inspire people,” Evans said. “I will not be silenced.”
Information from: The Detroit News, http://detnews.com/