A California man faces a federal stalking charge after he was accused of harassing a professional World Of Warcraft gamer online for years after meeting her at a gaming convention, according to a press release from the US Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.
Evan Baltierra, 29, of Trabuco Canyon met the victim, who is from Canada, during a meet-and-greet with her fans at the annual gaming convention BlizzCon in Anaheim, California, in November 2019 and asked her to be his “valentine”, according to the release. The gamer declined and told him she had a boyfriend, at which point Baltierra said he wanted to visit them in Canada.
The gamer learned from a friend online that Baltierra was trying to figure out where she lived, according to the press release. The gamer blocked Baltierra from her social media and removed him as a moderator from her streaming channel.
But prosecutors said Baltierra continued trying to contact her, as well as her boyfriend and colleague, over various platforms, including Twitter, Instagram, Reddit and email. He often threatened her with violence, the press release says.
He also created fake online profiles of the victim and published fabricated photos of her, including ones in which he appeared to have photoshopped her face over pornographic images, the release says. He’s accused of sending these pictures to her family members and friends and posting some in Internet chat rooms.
The victim obtained a temporary restraining order against him in February 2021, but Baltierra continued to harass and stalk her online, prosecutors said.
In March 2022, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Baltierra’s home and found a thumb drive containing many explicit, Photoshopped images, the press release says. They also found evidence on his iPhone of email accounts that he reportedly used to send the victim messages.
He is charged with one count of stalking and could face a maximum of five years in federal prison if convicted, according to the press release.
Attorney information for Baltierra was not immediately available. – The Charlotte Observer/Tribune News Service