Zachary Hood Sentenced to 18 Months’ Imprisonment For Cyberstalking

2 mins read
FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – On June 16, 2022, the Honorable Charles E. Atchley, Jr., United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Tennessee, sentenced Zachary Hood, 36, currently of Alpharetta, Georgia, to 18 months’ imprisonment for cyberstalking, and Hood was ordered to pay a $7,500 fine. 

As part of a plea agreement filed with the court, Hood waived indictment by a Federal Grand Jury and pleaded guilty to a bill of information charging him with one count of cyberstalking, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2261A.  Following his imprisonment, Hood will be on supervised release for three years.

According to the filed plea agreement, in October 2017, Hood created a Facebook account using the name and likeness of a female victim whose identity is being withheld for privacy reasons.  Hood then distributed intimate photographs of the victim to the victim’s friends and family.  For example, while claiming to be the victim, Hood sent photos featuring the victim’s breasts and buttocks to a friend of the victim’s husband, asking if the friend liked those photos.  Hood also contacted the victim’s husband directly, sending the husband nude photographs of the victim and making lewd and sexually suggestive comments about the victim’s appearance.  Hood also contacted eight other women, sending each woman intimate photographs of herself, sometimes accompanied by Hood’s own commentary.  

This prosecution is the result of a joint effort between the United States Attorney’s Office and Federal Bureau of Investigation offices in the Southern District of New York and the Eastern District of Tennessee.

“Cyberstalking is a serious crime that can inflict lasting harm on its victims,” said United States Attorney Francis M. Hamilton III.  “The United States Attorney’s Office is committed to working with its law enforcement partners to combat the growing trend of digital harassment.  As this sentence demonstrates, those who go online to threaten, intimidate, or harass others face real-world consequences, including federal prison time.  Cyberstalking simply has no place in today’s society.”

“This kind of behavior is not a prank, it’s disruptive to the victims and their families, and those who think they can hide behind the anonymity of the Internet should think again,” said Joseph E. Carrico, Special Agent in Charge for the FBI Knoxville Office.  “The FBI along with our local, state, and federal partners stand steadfast in our resolve to investigate, arrest, and prosecute those who commit these horrendous personal acts.”

“The internet can seem like a modern day Wild West, where criminals roam free and are not held accountable for committing crimes,” said Assistant Director in Charge Michael J. Driscoll for the FBI New York Office.  “Setting up a fake Facebook account and sending intimate photos of someone to their friends without their consent is illegal, and now Mr. Hood has to answer for his actions. Many people don’t report these types of crimes because they don’t think anything will be done to the perpetrator. We hope this case proves when people break federal laws they will face federal justice.”

Assistant United States Attorney Kyle J. Wilson, the District’s Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property Crimes Coordinator, represented the United States in court.

                                                                                           ###