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Cresco businessman charged with cyber stalking
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Cresco businessman charged with cyber stalking

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CRESCO – A monthslong harassment campaign that included spray-painted messages, fake Facebook accounts and mass-mailed genitalia photo collages has resulted in federal charges for a Cresco businessman.

A grand jury returned an indictment Dec. 3 charging Michael Shawn McGuire with cyber stalking and interstate stalking. McGuire, 56, pleaded not guilty during a Thursday appearance in U.S. District Court in Cedar Rapids.

On Monday, a judge found he was a danger to the community and a flight risk and ordered he be detained pending trial.

Court records indicate McGuire had also faced state charges for harassment and illegal dissemination of private sexual images in Minnesota in connection with the investigation. Authorities searched his insurance and tax business, McGuire and Associates on North Elm Street, in September.

The victim, a Willmar, Minn., woman told police she had met McGuire online, they had briefly dated and then broke up.

After the breakup, the woman said items were left at her home and fake online dating profiles were set up.

In August 2018, a lewd sign mentioning the woman was put up at a Spicer, Minn., restaurant, and investigators found bogus Facebook profiles that were used to send sexual photos and comments referencing the woman to people on her friends list.

Several of the woman’s neighbors in May 2019 received a photo collage of female body parts that included a bare-chested photo she had earlier given McGuire. The collages were placed in their mailboxes. That same day authorities found sexual graffiti mentioning the woman by name painted on a recreational walking trail.

The photo collage was also found on several yard signs with the woman’s email address posted in another Minnesota town about 50 miles away, including on the lawn of a Catholic church, and the collage was mailed to her family members.

Another collage surfaced in August. It contained photos of female genitalia, a variation of the woman’s name and her work phone number. The mailing arrived at 21 businesses in the community where the woman lived — including a Catholic Church and the school district offices.

Then in September, the woman received a package containing lingerie, a sex device and a photo of her car. The return address had the name of a person McGuire had been impersonating, records state.

Authorities were able to link the internet addresses used for the social media harassment to addresses McGuire used for his own social media accounts. Phone records show he was in the area when the collages and yard signs were posted in May 2019. Police searching his business found a backpack with documents with the woman’s name along with rubber gloves and printouts that had been used in the collages, according to court records.

Trial has tentatively been set for February.

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