STROUDSBURG, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A Monroe County man is being charged with stalking and harassing two dozen girls on the internet. Some of the victims are not from Pennsylvania but a majority are from his former high school in Tobyhanna.
This incident is now raising questions among parents and how their children communicate on social media. Investigators are looking for more victims to come forward.
“He ultimately admitted to being responsible for these fake social media accounts,” Brian Webbe, detective with the Monroe County District Attorney’s office, said.
19-year-old Jourden Battle of Coolbaugh Township is facing stalking and harassment charges, all misdemeanors. Detectives from the Monroe County office of the District Attorney were notified of a Kentucky girl receiving messages from Battle. A search warrant was issued nearly two weeks ago on Battle’s computer and home in Tobyhanna.
“We seized that computer. Mr. Battle was not at home at the time. Later that evening, Mr. Battle arrived here in our office voluntarily to be interviewed,” Webbe said.
Webbe then seized Battle’s cell phone, providing more evidence of stalking and harassment of girls he went to Pocono Mountain West High School with and at least two others not connected to this area, from Texas and Michigan. It all happened through social media. Battle allegedly created several fake accounts.
“He said he had harassed 20 to 25 of them,” Webbe said.
When the girls cut off communication, investigators say Battle then allegedly threatened to publicly post nude photographs of them. Webbe says at least 15 victims have come forward. Eight of them just on Tuesday, one day after the case was made public.
“It’s very scary because I have teenage girls myself and it’s scary to think that they could, God forbid, be a victim of something like this,” Janeen Schoeneman of Coolbaugh Township said.
Schoeneman says there needs to be more communication between parents and their child.
“That works both ways. You can just keep up as much as you can. But there’s always a way to get around it,” Schoeneman said.
“Parents should be more with it and I think constant monitoring should be implemented in most homes,” Joan Hanerfeld of Coolbaugh Township said.
Webbe has advice for any child or young adult who uses social media.
“Be careful who you talk to. Don’t engage in people you don’t know in real life,” Webbe said.
Webbe says Battle has been allegedly cyberstalking and harassing girls for at least four years, dating back to when he was in high school. Webbe asks anybody who may have been in communication with Battle to reach out to the office of the Monroe County District Attorney Criminal Investigators division.