A Hawaii man, accused of cyberstalking and terrorizing a Utah woman and her father for more than a year, was arrested in Honolulu by the FBI, authorities said.
According to a federal indictment, Loren M. Okamura, 44, harassed the Gilmore family by sending hundreds of people, including plumbers, food deliverers, service providers and prostitutes to their home and sending them ominous messages, Hawaii News Now reported.
Okamura was arrested Nov. 22 in Honolulu and charged with cyberstalking, making interstate threats and transporting people to engage in prostitution, The New York Times reported, citing federal court documents.
Walt Gilmore told Hawaii News Now the stalking began innocently enough when food delivery personnel showed up at his residence in North Salt Lake.
Then it got worse, with as many as 20 people knocking on Gilmore’s door each day -- including drug dealers and prostitutes. Gilmore told Hawaii News Now that since August 2018, more than 500 unwanted people visited his home.
According to Gilmore, Okamura sent his daughter “extensive and repeated threats” and posted photos of her face and the family’s address on Craigslist," the Times reported. The Craiglist post stated the Gilmores were seeking drugs and prostitutes to their home, according to court records.
In May, the woman received an email telling her she should “sleep with one eye open and keep looking over her shoulder, The Salt Lake Tribune reported. According to court documents, the email also said: “You should just kill yourself and do your family a favor," the newspaper reported.
Gilmore told Hawaii News Now he also saw people taking pictures of his house, looking inside his windows late at night, and sitting in cars parked outside.
The Gilmore family was “tormented” during the year-plus they endured the “extreme cyberstalking” U.S. Attorney John Huber told reporters.
Investigators had been gathering evidence since January when the Gilmores were granted a protectiive injunction against Okamura, The Salt Lake Tribune reported. The lengthy delay came because of Okamura’s use of apps and encryption techniques that made him appear anonymous, the newspaper reported.
The Gilmores even posted a red and yellow sign outside their home, telling workers to call the police and make a report if they were asked to provide services, the Times reported. A police car was parked next to the sign, the newspaper reported.
“The Utah family was tormented with hundreds of incidents in the course of conduct that really changed their lives and even their own neighborhood so the victimization expanded beyond,” Huber told reporters.
Sharron I. Rancourt, Okamura’s attorney, told The Associated Press her client had been mourning his wife this past year.
Thank you for reading the Dayton Daily News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.
Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Dayton Daily News. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.