NEWARK, NJ – After pleading guilty on Friday to making social media threats against Livingston High School and others in 2016, John Coulouris, 19, of Hackensack, was sentenced to seven years in New Jersey State Prison by the Hon. Mark Nelson, Judge of the Superior Court, according to Acting Essex County Prosecutor Robert Laurino.
Assistant Prosecutor Joseph Giordano, who handled the case, stated that Coulouris created two fictitious Facebook accounts and posted threats against Livingston High School. Coulouris admitted to publishing two posts each on Sept. 13 and Sept. 23, 2016, through these accounts.
“This defendant, like many others, believed he could cover his tracks and act anonymously using the Internet to wreak havoc on the public,” said Giordano. “This result would not have been possible without the assistance of the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Forensic Analysis and Cyber Technical Services Unit. Through their diligence and expertise in digital forensics and online investigations, they were able to follow the defendant’s digital footprint right to his front door.”
Laurino added that as these types of incidents become ever more common, “the public must realize that they are not pranks but serious criminal offenses that have significant penal consequences.”
According to Giordano, Colouris made a post from a fake account on Sept. 13, 2016, in the name of his ex-girlfriend’s mother and threatened to kill everyone at Livingston High School. On Sept. 23, 2016, he used a second fictitious account in which he threatened to “murder everyone” at Livingston High School, Giordano said.
Coulouris also admitted to conspiring with unknown individuals as part of what the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office called a “hacking collective” to send a bomb to the house of an Essex County judge, and to impersonating his ex-girlfriend, her parents,and a Livingston police detective by making multiple posts using their names.
The defendant also admitted to two counts of cyber harassment and invasion of privacy for posting his ex-girlfriend’s naked photo online, and one count of terroristic threats for offering money to kill his ex-girlfriend’s mother.
The case was handled in Hudson County because of the threats Coulouris made against an Essex County judge.