MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — A Hagerstown, Maryland man has been charged with cyberstalking after using social media to harass and intimidate his ex-girlfriend.
Derik Wayne Bowers, age 44, was indicted on one count of stalking by a federal grand jury in Martinsburg. According to court documents, Bowers harassed and intimidated his former girlfriend through text messages, phone calls, and via Facebook. In December 2022, he called the Morgan County victim 815 times during a 48-hour period. In addition, Bowers sent the victim thousands of harassing text messages over a several month period. Bowers also used social media posts to embarrass her and interfere with her livelihood.
“Cyberstalking is a pervasive problem that we treat very seriously in West Virginia,” said United States Attorney William Ihlenfeld. “I encourage those who are being intimidated online and who suffer substantial emotional distress as a result to file a police report so that wrongdoers may be investigated and held to account.”
If convicted, Bowers faces up to five years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberley Crockett is prosecuting the case on behalf of the government.
An indictment is merely an allegation, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
Information Courtesy US Attorney Ihlenfeld’s office.