CRESCO, Iowa (KWWL) — A Cresco man who cyberstalked a Minnesota woman for nearly two years has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison.
Michael Shawn McGuire, 58, was sentenced Friday after pleading guilty to four counts of cyberstalking in December 2020. Investigators say McGuire met the woman on an online dating site in the fall of 2017. The two then dated for about seven months before she broke up him.
McGuire then began texting and emailing her consistently, sending harassing messages. In the summer of 2018, the woman obtained a restraining order, barring McGuire from contacting her or anyone in her family, but McGuire continued to harass the woman for about two years.
During that time, he made five fake Facebook profiles containing the victim’s name, photo and sexually explicit messages about her. McGuire sent more than 80 friend requests to the woman’s friends and family.
He also made dozens of flyers and yard signs which contained sexually explicit messages and photos of the woman, as well as her name, phone number and address. The flyers were sent to dozens of people, including the woman’s kids, family members, neighbors, friends, her employer, businesses she associated with, and a priest.
The yard signs were left throughout the town she lived in, including her employer’s parking lot, her church lawn, and other areas. On one occasion, McGuire texted the woman that she should call the police because he was violating his restraining order, and then proceeded to follow the woman around town in his car. He was arrested for that incident and spent several days in a county jail.
During sentencing, the judge pointed out McGuire was undeterred by his arrest and continued to stalk and harass the victim for several months after. In the fall of 2019, investigators searched his employer’s business in Cresco and found photos of the victim, her family and friends, her Facebook friends list, supplies used to make the flyers and yard signs, rubber gloves, and rope.
The judge described McGuire’s actions as “a form of mental torture” and “form of public terrorism.” In addition to his prison sentence, McGuire must serve three years of supervised release after. He was also ordered to pay nearly $33,000 in fines and restitution.
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