PORTLAND — A Biddeford man who is serving a 22-month jail sentence for violating a protection-from-abuse order faces as much as five years in federal prison on new charges of stalking and stealing the identity of his ex-girlfriend.

Shawn Sayer, 41, was arraigned in U.S. District Court on Tuesday. He is accused of using the Internet to harass his ex-girlfriend to the point where she feared death or serious injury, and of pretending online to be her, inviting men to her home for sexual encounters.

Sayer negotiated a plea agreement on the state charges, pleading guilty to violating bail conditions and two counts of violating a protection-from-abuse order.

But because his alleged harassment crossed state lines, as the woman moved to Louisiana to escape him, it can also be prosecuted as a federal crime.

The case was investigated initially by Detective Laurie Northrup of the Maine State Police Computer Crimes Unit. Secret Service Agent Matthew Fasulo, assigned to the agency’s Portland office, investigated the federal case.

A court affidavit filed by Fasulo says that Sayer and his ex-girlfriend dated from 2003 to 2006, and that he stalked her in the years after that.

He was convicted of stalking in 2006 in York County Superior Court, and was convicted later of violating a protection-from-abuse order that she took out against him.

The harassment continued and escalated, Fasulo said in the affidavit.

In 2008, a man arrived at the woman’s house, believing that he had met her on the Internet and that she had invited him there for sex. Several more men came to the house in the following days, the federal complaint says.

Online personas created by Sayer showed provocative pictures of his ex-girlfriend, taken when they were still together, the complaint says.

Sayer also posted online videos of the two of them having sex, taken consensually when they were still together, the complaint says.

The woman moved from Maine to Louisiana in May of 2009 and changed her name, but Sayer eventually found her. In August of 2009, a man arrived at her house saying he had seen the woman on an adult website that showed directions to her home. More men followed.

Unable to persuade police to investigate the case, the woman wrote to the Attorney General’s Office, which forwarded the case to the Computer Crimes Unit.

The unit gathered information about the Internet address that was used when some of the online accounts were created, and tracked the address to a home on Marion Avenue in Biddeford, whose owner used an unsecured wireless network.

Sayer lived with his father across the street from the home and accessed the wireless signal, police said.

Investigators did a search in November 2009, but Sayer told them he had disposed of the computer hard drives before they arrived.

Fake profiles for the woman continued to appear on social networking sites, and in July 2010 investigators searched again and seized two computers showing many fake email accounts set up under the woman’s name, the complaint says.

Stalking and identity theft are felonies punishable by $250,000 fines and as much as five years in prison, followed by three years of probation.

The case is scheduled to go to trial Sept. 6.

 

Staff Writer David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at: [email protected]