SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ - Police charged a 19-year-old township man with cyber-harassment for posting lewd and threatening messages on a social media site targeting a local victim.
Police said the victim and her family reached out to police after learning of the messages.
An investigation by Detective Rick Delucia identified Adam Zakaria of South Brunswick as the person posting the messages, police said.
According to police, Detective Delucia determined that Zakaria sent the lewd comments with the intent to create emotional harm to the victim.
After consulting with the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, Zakaria was charged with fourth degree cyber harassment, and surrendered at police headquarters Thursday evening where he was released on a summons, police said.
Police remind parents and teenagers that cyber-harassment and cyber bullying can have life-changing and life-long consequences.
Police said that teenagers should be aware that what they post, tweet, snap, and send could have serious consequences.
Police said the messages in this case have been removed from the social media site, but the ramifications for the suspect and victim will be long-lasting.
The New Jersey cyber-harassment law is as follows;
1. a. A person commits the crime of cyber-harassment if, while making a communication in an online capacity via any electronic device or through a social networking site and with the purpose to harass another, the person:
(1) threatens to inflict injury or physical harm to any person or the property of any person;
(2) knowingly sends, posts, comments, requests, suggests, or proposes any lewd, indecent, or obscene material to or about a person with the intent to emotionally harm a reasonable person or place a reasonable person in fear of physical or emotional harm to his person; or
(3) threatens to commit any crime against the person or the person's property.
b. Cyber-harassment is a crime of the fourth degree, unless the person is 21 years of age or older at the time of the offense and impersonates a minor for the purpose of cyber-harassing a minor, in which case it is a crime of the third degree.
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