Local News

Man Arrested For Allegedly Sending Obscene E-Mail To WRAL

Posted June 24, 2005 10:46 a.m. EDT

— A man is jailed in Johnston County after being charged with cyberstalking.

The State Bureau of Investigation arrested Fern Georges, 33, at the public library in Benson and charged him with four counts of cyberstalking and three counts of ethnic intimidation for allegedly sending threatening e-mail messages to WRAL staff.

State Bureau of Investigation agents said four anchors and a meteorologist received inflammatory messages, sent from a public computer terminal at a Benson library.

"The e-mails were sexual in nature, raunchy, particularly to my female colleagues," said anchor Gerald Owens. "To me, they were physically threatening."

The messages directed to Owens and anchor Pam Saulsby, both black, were racially charged. In one e-mail, the sender wrote, "Please tell Gerald Owens that if he keeps playing under the table, I'll burn a cross in his bedroom."

Authorities think Georges has been living in Benson. The SBI tracked the messages to the terminal in Benson, and librarians helped agents zero in on George's by matching log-in times with the times the messages were sent, said Johnston County District Attorney Tom Lock.

Georges is under a bail of $100,000. Because he is a native of Haiti, prosecutors told a judge Thursday that he is a flight risk, Lock said.