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TMCNet:  Texas woman arrested in online harassment case

[January 18, 2013]

Texas woman arrested in online harassment case

FORT WORTH, Texas, Jan 18, 2013 (Fort Worth Star-Telegram - McClatchy-Tribune News Service via COMTEX) -- A three-year Internet nightmare for an Oregon woman is over _ for now.

Denton police arrested Michelle Speed, 32, on Wednesday, accusing her of hacking into the woman's social websites, writing slanderous statements about her and even starting an online petition to have her fired.

The reason, police say, is that the Oregon woman is the ex-girlfriend of a Denton man whom Speed had been dating.

Speed was released from the Denton Jail shortly after her arrest. Bail information was unavailable.

Speed faces a charge of online impersonation and breach of security.

Denton police began investigating the case in March when the Oregon woman told them that she had been terrorized for three years.

Authorities determined that someone had hacked into the woman's account on Goodreads, a social website for book fans, and created a Facebook page with her name. As items were posted, the woman couldn't delete or close the account.

Someone started posting items about the woman on TheDirty.com, a gossip website.

And someone sent her employer an e-mail, demanding that she be fired. There was also an online petition to have her fired.

Investigators determined that the IP address was in Denton.

When authorities asked the woman whether she knew anyone in Denton, she told them about her ex-boyfriend and his girlfriend.

If convicted of online impersonation, Speed faces a maximum of 10 years in prison. Breach of security carries a maximum of 180 days in jail.

___ (c)2013 Fort Worth Star-Telegram Visit the Fort Worth Star-Telegram at www.star-telegram.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

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