SACRAMENTO - A California man who trolled women’s Facebook pages searching for clues that allowed him to take over their e-mail accounts was sentenced yesterday to more than four years in state prison after a judge rejected a plea for a lighter sentence and likened the man to a peeping Tom.
Once he took over women’s e-mail accounts, George Bronk searched their folders for nude or seminude photographs or videos sent to their husbands or boyfriends and distributed the images to their contact list, prosecutors said.
The e-mails went to families, friends, and co-workers. Women in 17 states, the District of Columbia, and England were victimized.
“This case serves as a stark example of what occurs in so-called cyberspace. It has very real consequences,’’ Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Lawrence Brown said. “The intrusion of one’s profile is no different than intruding one’s home.’’
Bronk, 23, pleaded guilty in January to charges that included computer intrusion, false impersonation, and possession of child pornography.
Brown sentenced him to four years in state prison for the charges related to the Facebook and e-mail offenses, and added eight more months for charges related to child pornography.
Bronk’s attorney, Monica Lynch, said her client took responsibility for his actions and showed remorse. She had sought a sentence of one year in local jail with probation afterward, or two years in state prison with no probation.
Bronk was living in the Sacramento suburb of Citrus Heights with his parents in December 2009 when he began scanning Facebook with the intent of taking over e-mail accounts. The practice continued until last September.