Man Gets 18 Months in Prison for Cyberstalking

          A federal judge sentenced Carl De Vera Bennington, who pleaded guilty to two counts of cyberstalking, to 18 months in federal prison for sending hundreds of messages over several years to two victims, including a teenage girl, demanding they engage in sex acts with him and threatening to physically harm or kill them if they refused. 

          Bennington repeatedly sent one victim unsolicited online messages for several years. When she blocked him from contacting her from one of her online accounts, Bennington created new online accounts and then continued sending her messages, including graphic messages between June and November 2019 in which he insulted the victim, demanded she engage in sex acts with him, and threatened to sexually assault her. When the victim demanded that Bennington stop harassing her, he threatened to kill her and her family.

          Bennington also harassed another victim, who deactivated her social media accounts in 2017 after he solicited her to engage in a sexual relationship with him. In August 2019, after she reactivated her social media accounts, Bennington sent her numerous online messages threatening to kill her unless she responded to his demands for sex acts.

          Neither victim ever met Bennington in person. Bennington frequently promoted incel (involuntarily celibate) ideology, which involves individuals who are unable to find a willing sex partner, according to a sentencing memo filed by prosecutors, which notes the ideology ranges in tone from expressing sadness and self-loathing to advocating the “absolute hatred” of women.         

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