A 48-year-old Eden Prairie man has been charged in Hennepin County District Court with 41 gross misdemeanor counts of allegedly stalking, harassment and interfering with privacy in a series of offenses that began in February 2021 and continued until August of that year. Charges also include two misdemeanor domestic assault counts.
The man is accused of installing a keylogging and device-monitoring software service on his ex-girlfriend’s computer and placing a photographic recording device in her bedroom.
According to the charges:
The victim, an Eden Prairie resident, went to the Eden Prairie Police Department (EPPD) on Nov. 9, 2021, to report a stalking incident. She identified the man as the alleged stalker and said he did information technology work for her company and had remote access to his work computer.
The man allegedly installed a software program called “Refog,” which gives a user access to every keystroke on a computer and access to the web camera. The victim said she learned about the program after becoming suspicious when her webcam would turn on randomly and, at one point, took a photo of her without her knowledge.
The victim also told police the man had accessed her iCloud and Apple IDs and had been accessing her accounts for more than a year. She said he knew her whereabouts and activities on several occasions, information she had not shared with him.
At the time, the victim and the man shared the same residence. According to the victim’s complaint, they had an argument on Feb. 4, 2021, during which the man allegedly struck her in the face. On Feb. 20, 2021, the man reportedly pursued her, pulled her down, and strangled her after she informed him of her intention to sleep in another bedroom.
On Feb. 25, 2021, the victim was attending a real estate showing in Eden Prairie, and the man appeared without her having told him about it. “He was just there,” she told police.
In March 2021, the victim moved out of their shared residence. That month, the man showed up at the house of a friend of the victim’s, asking to speak with the friend about the victim. The victim said the man would not have known where her friend lived.
On April 24, 2021, the victim was attempting to leave her house, and the man prevented her from leaving by keeping the garage door from opening. On April 26, 2021, the man took the victim’s son’s passport, Social Security card, and birth certificate and hid them. The victim’s son is not the son of the victim and the man.
Two Eden Prairie detectives took over the case and examined the victim’s computer. They discovered the Refog program, activated in October 2020. The program’s subscriber information was linked to the man’s Yahoo email address, and the IP address was associated with a business he is affiliated with.
In June 2021, the man called the victim to tell her she didn’t need to sign up for the identity theft protection plan she had recently obtained. When the victim asked him how he knew that, he reportedly said, “I’m just using a tool that is available to me to figure out what you’re doing.”
On April 15, 2022, an Eden Prairie detective was granted a search warrant for the residence shared by the victim and the man. The detective collected several technology devices from the residence. Also found was a SpyTec GPS tracker that was registered to the man’s Yahoo email address.
Eden Prairie detectives obtained a search warrant to access the man’s phone. They found a video on the device that showed the victim in her garage, apparently against her will, as the man held down a garage door button, preventing the door from opening.
The Refog subscription, as well as photos of the victim’s purchase agreement for her new home and explicit images of the victim with a male companion, were found on the phone.
Police found more than 390 still photographs from March 7, 2020, through July 27, 2020, on the man’s devices, many of which included the victim and her male companion naked.
From March 7, 2020, to Aug. 12, 2020, the man allegedly used a hidden camera to monitor the victim and her male companion without their knowledge and saved the data on his phone. Neither was aware of the camera in the victim’s bedroom. It had been placed in the bedroom on Oct. 17, 2019, and pointed at the victim’s bed, according to the charges.
If found guilty of each of the interference with privacy counts and the three stalking and harassment counts, the man could be sentenced to a maximum of one-year imprisonment for each count and/or up to a $3,000 fine. The man has been summoned to appear in court.
We offer several ways for our readers to provide feedback. Your comments are welcome on our social media posts (Facebook, X, Instagram, Threads, and LinkedIn). We also encourage Letters to the Editor; submission guidelines can be found on our Contact Us page. If you believe this story has an error or you would like to get in touch with the author, please connect with us.