ALLEN (CBSDFW.COM) – Jessica Smith of Bonham never imagined that her Facebook page would be used to attack her Facebook friends. “My entire world just flipped,” recalled Smith. “Eight people that I love and care about had been attacked; they thought by me.”
Smith says the real culprit was her former boss who works as a real estate agent based in Allen. “I absolutely felt violated,” Smith said.
James Patrick DeLaGarza pled guilty to Online Harassment, nearly a year and half after Smith quit her job as DeLaGarza’s office administrator.
The 30-year-old was working for the agency in 2010. Smith quit after only four months on the job and that’s when the online attacks started. “When I got home, I tried to log into my Facebook and I couldn’t log in,” explained Smith.
Smith admits that she used her personal e-mail account and Facebook page for work purposes and that’s how DeLaGarza gained access to her passwords.
She claims her former boss was sending cruel messages to her Facebook friends, including nasty comments about their weight, their family members and their pets. “I started getting messages back from my friends saying how could you say these things? Do you really think this of me? What’s wrong with you,” Smith recounted.
Smith says DeLaGarza also deleted everything in her e-mail account, including tax returns and other important documents.
Police traced the attacks to DeLaGarza’s office and home and following Thursday’s guilty plea, he was placed on six years probation and fined $2,000.
Smith says she’s glad she called police to stop the online harassment before it got worse. “I was looking over my shoulder, constantly paranoid of what was going to happen next? What else did this person get a hold of? What else are they going to do,” she recalled.
CBS 11 was unable to reach DeLaGarza before our story aired. However, his attorney, Jeremy Rosenthal, did return our phone call. Rosenthal says his client wants to get this behind him and that they feel the punishment is enough.