FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) - "He's a very smart man with a very bad soul."
That was how the victim in a horrific Fort Wayne stalking case described Michael McClellan in court Friday, as he learned his punishment at sentencing.
It’s a frightening example of how technology can be used to torment and terrify someone.
Dawn Hilyer says the harassment that went on for many months had a ripple effect, impacting her children and circle of friends.
Allen Superior Court Judge Fran Gull sentenced 42-year old Michael McClellan to 10 years, saying, "You've demonstrated an extraordinary ability to manipulate people through electronic devices."
Last month, McClellan was convicted at trial of two felony charges, after prosecutors showed how he sent his one-time on-line dating partner hundreds of unwanted e-mails and phone calls, many of them threatening.
He even hacked her computer account, and sent explicit photos of the woman to family, clients and co-workers.
Hilyer says the campaign of intimidation nearly ruined her life, at one point in 2007 causing her to contemplate suicide.
Dawn Hilyer/Stalking Victim: " I was on my bathroom floor, crying, like I had several other times, and actually wondered if my children would be better off without me, due to that man and what he was threatening and doing."
Karen Richards/(R) Allen County Prosecutor: " He absolutely will do this again, I mean, if you want to look up in the dictionary, the word "evil", this man's picture ought to be next to it."
McClellan apologized to Hilyer in court, saying he wished that he had been smart enough to keep his mouth shut and move on after their break up.
He told the court he's found God and is a changed man.
The judge, however, said she believes it's likely he'll target someone else in the same way once he gets out of prison, which figures to be in about five years with good time jail credit.
Hilyer says the system is ill-equipped to deal with somebody who is a technological whiz, and uses that skill to relentlessly harass and intimidate a victim.
Her advice to other stalking victims-- be tenacious in getting police or other authorities to listen to your complaints, to ensure the tormenting will finally stop.
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