Michael Daniel Rubens, 31, formerly of Tallahassee, pled guilty yesterday to cyberstalking, unauthorized access to a protected computer, and aggravated identity theft.
During his guilty plea, Rubens admitted that, between January 2012 and January 2015, he publicly humiliated dozens of young women by hacking into their online accounts, including e-mail and social media, stealing photographs and other personal information, using the photographs to create pornography, and posting the pornographic images on social media websites and on a revenge pornography website that was recently shut down by the FBI. Rubens engaged in most of the conduct from his residence in Tallahassee. He used software to conceal his IP address.
Rubens’ victims included an employee of a local restaurant he frequented, an out-of-town colleague, an acquaintance in his office building, clients of the defendant’s employer, a former girlfriend and her colleagues, high school classmates, and the victims’ relatives or friends. For one particular woman, Rubens’ laptop contained 470 files with more than 5,000 references to the victim. Rubens’ computer searches focused on finding the victims’ personal identifying information, such as past addresses, family information, and other personal data that could be used to answer security questions. As a result of Rubens’ conduct, the victims became afraid to conduct any online activities and often deleted their social media presence entirely. In some instances, the conduct also affected the victims’ personal relationships.
The sentencing hearing is scheduled for February 25, 2016, at 11:00 a.m. at the United States Courthouse in Tallahassee, Florida. For each of the 12 counts of cyberstalking and unauthorized access to a protected computer, Rubens faces a maximum of five years in prison. For the aggravated identity theft charge, he faces a mandatory two years in prison to be served consecutively to any other sentence.
Source: U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida