Michael Shawn McGuire, 58, of Cresco, Iowa, was sentenced July 30. He had pleaded guilty to four counts of cyberstalking in December.
U.S. District Judge C.J. Williams described McGuire’s conduct toward the victim and her friends and family as “a form of mental torture” and “form of public terrorism in a way,” according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Iowa.
In addition to the 10-year prison sentence, McGuire was ordered to serve a three-year term of supervised release after the prison term. There is no parole in the federal system. McGuire was ordered to pay $400 to the special assessment fund, a $15,000 fine, and $17,500 in restitution to the victim.
“Michael McGuire tormented the victim for over two years,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Sean R. Berry following the sentence. “He will spend the next decade in federal prison, protecting both his victim and the public from his malicious behavior. This sentence sends a strong message to all that this kind of behavior will not be tolerated.”
According to the release, McGuire and the woman met on an online dating website in fall 2017. The woman broke off the relationship after dating for about seven months.
McGuire began texting and emailing harassing messages to her. In summer 2018, she obtained a no-contact order prohibiting him from contacting her or anyone in her family.
McGuire continued to harass and torment the woman.
In fall 2019, investigators searched his place of business in Cresco. They seized photos of the victim and her family and friends, her Facebook friends list, supplies used to make fliers and yard signs he had used to torment her, rubber gloves and rope.
During the harassment, McGuire created five fake Facebook profiles using the woman's name or photo and sexually explicit messages. The fake profiles sent more than 80 friend requests to the woman's friends and family. McGuire also made dozens of fliers and yard signs containing sexually explicit messages, photographs of the victim and sexually explicit photographs of women appearing to be the victim.
The fliers and yard signs contained the woman's phone number and address. The flyers were delivered to dozens of people, including the victim’s children, family members, neighbors, friends, her employer, a priest and businesses she patronized. The yard signs were left in multiple places in the town where she lived, including her employer’s parking lot, her church lawn and a popular local restaurant.
On one occasion, McGuire spray-painted a sexually explicit message including her name on a business front in her hometown. He texted her that she should tell police he was violating his restraining order and then followed her around in his car. He was arrested for that and spent a few days in a county jail.