B.C. manís revenge website reveals flaws in criminal harassment law: experts


SLM
+1
#1
B.C. manís revenge website reveals flaws in criminal harassment law: experts

VANCOUVER ó The British Columbia Crownís decision not to charge a man who created a revenge website to destroy his ex-wifeís reputation reveals the limits of criminal harassment law in the digital age, experts say.


The Crown said it could not conclude the woman had an ďobjective basis to fear for her safety.Ē The website includes private photos, her address and phone number and describes her as a white supremacist, child abuser and drug addict.


ďI do think itís worth having a conversation as a society to find out whether or not Ďobjective fear for your safetyí is in fact the right threshold, when more and more harassment is taking place online,Ē said David Fraser, an Internet and privacy lawyer.


ďI donít suggest dropping it so low that you just have to hurt somebodyís feelings, but maybe that line is a little bit too high in order to deal with significant cases of purposeful harassment.Ē


The case involving a B.C. man. and an Arizona woman has prompted criticism of Canadian law enforcement. While experts said the high threshold set by criminal harassment law plays a role, they also urged the Crown and police to take another look at the case.
Patrick Fox, whose birth name is Richard Riess, said in an interview that he created the site about his ex-wife Desiree Capuano to cause ďas much damage to her reputation and life as possible,Ē but that he would never physically harm her.


He said he would only take the site down if she reached a low point in her life that satisfied him or if she died. He said it ďwould be greatĒ if she killed herself, but it isnít a goal of the site.


ďI just donít believe that she really brings anything positive or good to the world at all, and I donít think the world is going to be worse off when she ceases to exist.Ē


The couple separated in 2001, when their son was a baby. Capuano alleged that Fox hid the child from her for years, while Fox said she abandoned the boy. He was later convicted of perjury and deported from the U.S. in 2013, but he blames Capuano for calling authorities.


Capuano now has custody of their son and lives near Tucson, Ariz. She said she lives with constant stress and fear and has struggled to find work after being laid off months ago. At one point he sent her colleagues links to the website, she said.


Fox has also sent her hundreds of threatening emails, some including photos of his gun licence and a spot where he said he could cross the border, she said.


ďI donít understand how, just because heís not physically in front of me with a gun, that itís not considered to be harassment,Ē she said through tears. ďJust because heís not hitting me physically, doesnít mean that itís not abuse.Ē


She vehemently denied Foxís allegations that sheís a child abuser, white supremacist or drug addict. She said she has not launched a defamation suit because she canít afford the legal costs.


Isabel Grant, a University of British Columbia law professor and criminal harassment expert, said courts have said reasonable fear for oneís safety also includes psychological safety.



She noted that a recent Twitter harassment trial in Ontario resulted in an acquittal because the judge could not conclude the fear of the two complainants was reasonable. She said the B.C. case appears more egregious and could fall within criminal harassment law.
ďWhen this provision was drafted in the early 1990s, people werenít thinking of cyber abuse. They were thinking of men who are physically following and threatening their former partners.Ē


Dan McLaughlin, spokesman for B.C.ís Criminal Justice Branch, said RCMP arrested, interviewed and released Fox in July 2015. Investigators later recommended charges, but they were not approved.


ďThis assessment included the fact that the two parties involved lived in different countries and the perpetrator had been deported from the U.S.Ē


Legislation introduced last year that criminalized so-called ďrevenge pornĒ did not apply because photos of Capuano with a former partner on the website did not include nudity, he added.


B.C. man’s revenge website reveals flaws in criminal harassment law: experts


So is this straight up stalking, abuse and harassment and should there be a sole criminal law measure to deal with this? Should it be dealt entirely through civil courts through defamation lawsuits? Or is there some in between measure?


I think it's clear the law needs a review to deal with the new digital age we are all living in but, as someone who thinks the internet should be as free as it possibly can be, I'd hate to see it overdone.
 
Tecumsehsbones
#2
Sounds like my kinda gal. Where's this website?
 
Twila
#3
Thankfully the released this...guys real name. This guy is waving a huge red flag. He unstable at best, brutally aggressive and unrelentingly emotionally abusive at worst.

Wonder how he's going to feel having the world see him in the same light as his ex does?

so here's what this jerk looks like

 
Tecumsehsbones
+3
#4  Top Rated Post
Quote: Originally Posted by Twila View Post

"Some folks call it a sling blade, I call it a kaiser blade."
 
Twila
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by Tecumsehsbones View Post

"Some folks call it a sling blade, I call it a kaiser blade."

This looser seems to be channelling Billy Bob rather well. Wonder if Billy knows?
 
petros
#6
Had she called it "online bullying" would it be different?
 
spaminator
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by Tecumsehsbones View Post

Sounds like my kinda gal. Where's this website?

Desiree Capuano: Drug Addict, Narcissist, and Downright Bad Person
 
gerryh
+1
#8
If what he says about her is untrue. She could sue him in civil court. That would probably cost more than she would receive, by the looks of him.
 
petros
#9
And if he isn't lying???
 
SLM
+2
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by gerryh View Post

If what he says about her is untrue. She could sue him in civil court. That would probably cost more than she would receive, by the looks of him.

She mentions that but says she doesn't have the means to initiate a lawsuit.

Where I think it qualifies as harassment is where he's doing things like sending links to her co-workers. That, I would think, shows clear intent to intimidate given the content of what he's got on the site.

He's definitely a creep.
 
petros
#11
Read some of the comments on the site. Well worth it.
 
Twila
+1
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

Had she called it "online bullying" would it be different?

Only if she had commited suicide over it. But then she might have had to be underage to see legal action.

It seems like they could at least charge him with some type of defemation or some such

Quote: Originally Posted by SLM View Post

She mentions that but says she doesn't have the means to initiate a lawsuit.

Where I think it qualifies as harassment is where he's doing things like sending links to her co-workers. That, I would think, shows clear intent to intimidate given the content of what he's got on the site.

He's definitely a creep.

I don't see how the law can't help her with this. It seems really strange.
 
taxslave
+1
#13
Does he get charged in Canada or the US? And who foots the legal bill for locking him up? Seems like the best avenue for here is to try crowd sourcing to have him taught a life lesson.
 
Twila
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by taxslave View Post

Does he get charged in Canada or the US? And who foots the legal bill for locking him up? Seems like the best avenue for here is to try crowd sourcing to have him taught a life lesson.

right, where would he be charged?

maybe it both countries and he can split his time between a us prison and a cad prison?
 
petros
#15
She might just very well be everything he claims she is.
 
gerryh
+1
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

And if he isn't lying???


If it was me, I'd be wanting custody of my child.
 
petros
#17
Him or her? Did you read about her abandoning their son for 9 years then abducting him?
 
Twila
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

Him or her? Did you read about her abandoning their son for 9 years then abducting him?

and yet she says:

Capuano said Fox hid the child from her for years in Arizona. Mother and son were reunited in 2011 when Fox served a two-year sentence for perjury, after he falsely claimed he was American.


He doesn't seem to be doing this to protect his son. In fact, he's said

"nothing short of Capuano's death or "when she is destitute and homeless" will prompt him to take down the site."

This is not the words of a man who cares about his child.
 
gerryh
#19
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

Him or her? Did you read about her abandoning their son for 9 years then abducting him?



You didn't read the entire site. Did you. He makes a few "interesting" slips.
 
petros
#20
Quote: Originally Posted by Twila View Post

and yet she says:

Capuano said Fox hid the child from her for years in Arizona. Mother and son were reunited in 2011 when Fox served a two-year sentence for perjury, after he falsely claimed he was American.


He doesn't seem to be doing this to protect his son. In fact, he's said

"nothing short of Capuano's death or "when she is destitute and homeless" will prompt him to take down the site."

This is not the words of a man who cares about his child.

What does he say?

This is what she started in court.
http://www.desireecapuano.com/media/...nd_Support.pdf
 
SLM
#21
I don't think this is a situation where either party is the picture of innocence. It's rarely that way anyhow.

But, so less than stellar parent one get's custody and less than stellar parent two doesn't. Is this the next move? Create a revenge website where you can and do say all things, whatever the degree of truth there is to it (I assume there is some, both ways).
 
petros
#22
Quote: Originally Posted by gerryh View Post

You didn't read the entire site. Did you. He makes a few "interesting" slips.

Did you?
 
gerryh
#23
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

Him or her? Did you read about her abandoning their son for 9 years then abducting him?

Quote: Originally Posted by SLM View Post

I don't think this is a situation where either party is the picture of innocence. It's rarely that way anyhow.

But, so less than stellar parent one get's custody and less than stellar parent two doesn't. Is this the next move? Create a revenge website where you can and do say all things, whatever the degree of truth there is to it (I assume there is some, both ways).


What it shows, is how much of a dickless wonder he truly is. I agree with her, in that putting her present address on the website puts HIS son in danger from nutcases, unfortunately, he is too stupid to see that.

He is obsessed. I'd venture to say that he is mentally unstable.
 
petros
#24
Quote: Originally Posted by SLM View Post

I don't think this is a situation where either party is the picture of innocence. It's rarely that way anyhow.

But, so less than stellar parent one get's custody and less than stellar parent two doesn't. Is this the next move? Create a revenge website where you can and do say all things, whatever the degree of truth there is to it (I assume there is some, both ways).

I learned years ago to never take sides of a divorce or custody hearing but take it all into consideration.

In my opinion neither of these two deserve to be a parent.
 
SLM
+2
#25
Quote: Originally Posted by gerryh View Post

What it shows, is how much of a dickless wonder he truly is. I agree with her, in that putting her present address on the website puts HIS son in danger from nutcases, unfortunately, he is too stupid to see that.

He is obsessed. I'd venture to say that he is mentally unstable.

I do agree with that and it's his actions that make me think that he's unstable. Regardless of whether or not there is any truth to the things he says about her or not, he didn't just throw up some 'nasty sh1t about his ex on FB. This is really aggressive.
 
Twila
+3
#26
at the end of the day, the one who will suffer the most and the longest is this child.

He deserves to be stopped and has proven he is definitely not responsible enough to raise a child.

You should never talk bad about the other parent of your child in any way where that child could hear about it.

Ruining the life of the mother of your child...intentionally...maliciously? that's some fecked up sh!t.
 
gerryh
#27
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

I learned years ago to never take sides of a divorce or custody hearing but take it all into consideration.

In my opinion neither of these two deserve to be a parent.



Really, and that is based on the claims that HE has made. Interesting.
 
petros
#28
So one of them does deserve to be a parent? Which one?
 
gerryh
#29
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

So one of them does deserve to be a parent? Which one?


She already is. I don't see him taking any legal action to change that.
 
petros
#30
How did she end up with the kid after ditching him for 9 years? Did she deserve custody?