Updated: September 29, 2022
Today in federal court in Honolulu, Chief US District Judge J. Michael Seabright sentenced Micah Austin Goodale, 27, of Queen Creek, Arizona to 36 months in prison and three years of supervised release for cyberstalking. Goodale pled guilty July 7, 2021 to a single count indictment.
According to court documents and information presented at sentencing, Goodale recorded sexually explicit and graphic videos of the victim, an adult female, while they were in a relationship. After their relationship ended, Goodale uploaded and published the sexually explicit videos onto a website that hosts adult pornographic content for free public streaming. Alongside the videos on the pornographic website, Goodale added the victim’s full name, phone number and address, and included comments inviting viewers to harass the victim.
Goodale also signed onto a Facebook social media account that belonged to the victim, who then resided in the District of Hawaiʻi, and posted links to the sexually explicit videos of her that could be viewed by everyone in her social network. He created a Twitter profile using the victim’s name and likeness to post additional sexually explicit content of her, and he sent her harassing messages.
Cyberstalking is a specific federal crime that falls under a federal stalking statute as part of the Violence Against Women Act of 2005. The law was amended in 2013 to include stalking by the Internet or by telephone and no longer requires that the perpetrator and victim live in different legal jurisdictions.
“Cyberstalking and revenge pornography are just new forms of harassment and intimidation that have been made possible by advancing social media technology,” Acting US Attorney Judith A. Philips said. “The digital nature and global reach of social media present unprecedented potential for harm, and criminals who abuse these new technologies to unlawfully harass and intimidate others in substantial ways will be brought to justice.”
“What Micah Goodale did is horrific, and the impact on the victim is immeasurable,” Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Steven Merrill said. “While today’s sentencing cannot erase that harm, it ensures he will remain behind bars for a very long time, unable to victimize anyone else.”
The FBI led the investigation. Assistant US Attorney Gregg Paris Yates is handling the prosecution.