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‘Craigslist stalker’ arrested for harassing Marshall woman

Federal agents arrested a Reva man in connection with a months-long campaign of alleged harassment against a Marshall-area woman, including the posting of bogus Craigslist ads seeking sex.

In an affidavit filed in United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia, Hugh Coughlin, special agent with the Library of Congress Office of the Inspector General, describes a relationship gone sour, devolving into mean-spirited pranks and harassment in the "casual encounters" section of Craigslist.org.

According to the affidavit, Kenneth E. Kuban, of Reva, Va., an employee at the Culpeper branch of the Library of Congress, started harassing a woman near Marshall after their six-month relationship ended in February 2011.

After the breakup, he allegedly began harrassing the woman. She subsequently brought a stalking charge against him, which was converted to a recognizance and bond to keep the peace, which prohibited further contact with the woman..

Undeterred, Kuban allegedly called the woman five or six times a day. The woman had her phone number changed and unlisted.

Afterward, he allegedly called Verizon and told the company that the woman had died. Verizon then disconnected her phone, television and Internet service.

"This caused Verizon to shut off [the woman's] Internet, phone and television services, and it took over a month to have those home services restored," Coughlin said.

Kuban then allegedly called a library where the woman met weekly with a group of friends, reporting that her barn was on fire. She rushed home to find that her property was secure.

The alleged harassment reached its peak on Craigslist.org, a free online classifieds portal that allows users to post items for sale, as well as personal advertisements.

Kuban allegedly posted several "casual encounters" ads revealing the woman's home address as a location to solicit sexual encounters or to buy pornographic videos.

"I'm a senior lady who is looking for some fun and adventure in my life!" read one such ad, according to the affidavit, going on to suggest meetings with men.

"Would like to meet a gentleman in his 50s that ... can give me some pleasuring," the phony ad said.

Several men answered the false ads, undeterred by a locked gate, security cameras and several posted signs denouncing the Craigslist ads.

Local law enforcement chased men seeking sex away, often several times a day, Coughlin said in the affidavit.

Between Jan. 1 and March 20 of this year, Fauquier sheriff's deputies had 46 calls at the woman's home, said Lt. James Hartman, spokesman for the Fauquier County Sheriff's Office.

"They would pull up to the gate, find it was locked, climb over the gate and walk up the driveway," Hartman said.

Not even a marked squad car, parked in the driveway, kept the woman's callers at bay.

Sheriff's deputies arrested three people for trespassing as a result of the Craigslist ads, Hartman said.

One, Gregory Lamont Washington of Boston, Va., allegedly climbed the fence, walked up the driveway and lost his nerve, Hartman said.

Washington returned, whereupon deputies arrested him for two counts of trespassing and one count of possession of marijuana.Washington is a registered sex offender, convicted in 2008 of indecent liberties with children.

Deputies also arrested Hugo Antonia Batting Medina of Alexandria, Va., and Carlos Hector Oratorio of Fredericksburg, Va., on charges of trespassing at the woman's house.

Hartman said the investigators contacted Craigslist to get the false ads removed. But new ones took their place as soon as the old ones were removed, Hartman said.

Federal investigators tracked the Internet protocol (IP) address associated with the Craigslist posts, tracking them to the Library of Congress.

They matched a picture of the woman posted on Craigslist to one allegedly found on Kuban's Library of Congress computer, Coughlin wrote.

They also found that Kuban had used his work computer to routinely search Craigslist for all postings from Marshall.

Undercover agents contacted Kuban by email, telling him that they reached the woman's home but found the gate locked.

In response, Kuban, posing as the victim, allegedly wrote, "oh s--- I forgot to lock the gate !!! just park by my mail box and walk up my lane I'll meet at the front door darling."

On March 20, Library of Congress investigators arrested Kuban at his home in Reva after a federal criminal complaint associated with a charge of violating a protective order.

Kuban faces a preliminary hearing April 1 at the United States District Court in Charlottesville, Va., with a criminal indictment hearing to follow shortly thereafter.

Email this reporter: mgrandstaff@timespapers.com
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