A 23-year-old man pleaded guilty Friday to computer trespass in connection with a 2010 case in which he threatened to distribute suggestive photos of two young women if they didn’t give him more photos of themselves.
James Miles Woodall, a former Howard High School student who has since been enrolled at the University of Georgia, had been charged with numerous computer crimes.
Charges that included computer pornography, computer forgery, computer invasion of privacy, stalking and two counts of criminal attempt to commit a felony were dismissed.
In Bibb County Superior Court on Friday, Woodall was ordered to serve two years of a 15-year sentence in prison on the computer-trespass charge.
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He was sentenced to spend the rest on probation -- and to avoid social media, whatever form it takes, for some 13 years after his release.
Woodall’s victims were agreeable to the terms of his guilty plea.
“Anyone who commits this type of extortion and invasion of privacy should expect to go to prison,” Bibb District Attorney David Cooke said.
Upon sentencing Woodall, Judge Howard Simms declared the case “yet another sign that the apocalypse is upon us -- Facebook stalking.”
According to authorities, Woodall changed or deleted one woman’s Facebook and email passwords.
“This is just straight-up creepy and scary,” Simms told Woodall. “You’re like every father’s worst fear.”
Woodall, described by his attorney as “a brilliant albeit socially awkward individual,” said he had been depressed at the time.
“I’m not the same person I was four and a half years ago. ... I don’t want to make excuses,” a sobbing Woodall said. “What I did has screwed up my life.”
Simms told Woodall it had no doubt affected his victims’ lives as well.
“They’re never going to feel safe logging on to what has now become a necessary part of everybody’s life. That being the Internet,” the judge said.
When Simms limited Woodall’s on-probation computer use to school- and work-related matters, Woodall asked Simms if a LinkedIn job-profile account would be considered social media.
“That’s just Facebook for people that wear suits,” the judge said. “No, they’re out.”
Information from Telegraph archives was used in this report.