One Year Ago Today (December 8, 2020)…A detention hearing was postponed for a Chatsworth man accused of cyberstalking two sisters by sending them text messages threatening rape and murder.
Alex Scott Roberts, 25, was named in a six-count indictment last month that outlines an alleged harassment and threat campaign that spanned a three-week period over the summer.
If convicted of two counts of stalking and four counts of making threats by interstate communications, specifically text messages, he would face up to five years in federal prison for each count — a total of 30 years, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, a new date was not immediately set for the detention hearing, in which Roberts is expected to ask a federal magistrate judge in downtown Los Angeles for pretrial release with various conditions attached. Prosecutors previously argued against release, contending that the defendant is both a danger to the community and a flight risk.
Information about Roberts’ alleged motive or whether he knew the sisters beforehand was not provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and was not included in the indictment.
As of last month, Roberts was in state custody serving a sentence resulting from a parole violation. A Los Angeles Superior Court judge ordered him back into custody in September, after the FBI executed a federal search warrant related to the cyberstalking case at his residence.
When he finishes the sentence in the parole violation, FBI agents are expected to take him into federal custody, according to prosecutors.
The indictment filed in Los Angeles federal court alleges that Roberts, starting in late July and continuing until Aug. 18, used text messages and internet communications to place the two victims “in reasonable fear of death and serious bodily injury,” and that he intended to cause “substantial emotional distress.”
After being told by the first victim and her family that she did not want to communicate with Roberts, on July 31 he allegedly created a listing on Craigslist that offered a room for rent at her home and invited prospective renters to “stop by anytime,” according to the indictment.
On Aug. 2, Roberts allegedly sent anonymous text messages to a friend of the first victim that demanded her phone number, threatened to publish nude photographs of the woman, and threatened to send someone to rape the first victim, court papers allege.
The indictment alleges that, between Aug. 11-18, Roberts sent numerous anonymous text messages to the sisters that include a series of threats, such as, “I’m outside … I see you guys … payback is a bitch and she gets what she deserves hope you all survive there will be blood.”
Later messages included threats such as, “have either of u been raped I guess you will experience that soon,” and “I have a gun aimed right at both your mom and dad … If u don’t respond someone will die,” according to the indictment.