Los Angeles Times
A former Marine from Orange County has been arrested and faces federal charges for allegedly creating hundreds of Twitter accounts used to stalk a professional video game player who lives in Calgary, Canada, authorities said.
Evan Baltierra, 29, was arrested Monday by FBI agents at his home in Trabuco Canyon on suspicion of stalking, according to federal prosecutors. He admitted to investigators he harassed the woman who made her living as a professional online gamer on the popular “War of Warcraft,” authorities said.
The suspect “orchestrated a campaign of harassment targeting the victim, her boyfriend, her friends and her boyfriend’s family,” according to court records.
Baltierra and his attorney could not be reached for comment.
He and the woman met online and Baltierra moderated her online streaming channel, where the victim streamed live video of herself playing the popular multiplayer online role-playing game, according to charging documents filed with the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.
They first met in person at the BlizzCon convention in Anaheim in November 2019, where the victim held a meet-and-greet event with her fans, according to the documents. Baltierra asked the woman to be his “valentine” online, but she refused because she was in a relationship.
The victim later learned from other people in the online community that Baltierra was trying to find her home address, and she blocked him from her social media accounts and her online stream channel, according to court documents.
In response, Baltierra tried to contact the woman over other social media channels and then contacted her boyfriend and other friends with threatening messages, including references to violence, according to court documents. He also sent her messages with pornographic images with her face edited in, the FBI said.
More harassment followed, including more threats against the victim and her boyfriend that were posted on Twitter, over email and over the messaging system in “World of Warcraft,” according to court records.
In February 2021, the victim obtained a temporary restraining order in Orange County Superior Court, and later the two reached a civil agreement. The victim promised to not file the restraining order and Baltierra agreed to several terms, including paying her $2,000 through her attorney and not contacting her, her family or friends, according to the charging documents.
As part of that settlement agreement, the woman agreed to provide the court and Baltierra’s attorney her contact information, according to the documents. She included an old P.O. box and her email in court filings.
Less than a month later she began receiving spam email to pornographic sites and responses to a Craigslist advertisement for sex, according to prosecutors. Someone sent a package to the P.O. box the woman provided to the court and when Calgary police inspected it, they found it was a box of condoms, according to prosecutors.
Someone called the Calgary police asking for a welfare check at the woman’s home. The caller, who identified himself as ” Austin,” continued to ask police for the woman’s address and said he once worked for law enforcement, according to court documents. The number was traced to Baltierra.
In March of this year, the woman received a threatening message over Twitter that said, “You know who the most dangerous people are in the world? The ones who don’t care what they lose to achieve their goal.”
The victim said she had to limit her online presence because of all the harassment she received, and this caused her to lose money, because her main source of income was in streaming video games, according to court records.
Also in March, investigators served a search warrant at Baltierra’s home and took multiple devices, including his iPhone, desktop computer and multiple thumb drives along with a 9-millimeter handgun. Investigators found multiple emails used to harass the victim linked to Baltierra’s devices along with his search history.
Baltierra posted a $15,000 bond, according to court filings, and is due back in court in June.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.