Suspect charged with hacking teen girls’ phones across bay

photo of crime scene tape
Daniel Kim/File

Related Posts

Content warning: This post contains discussion of sexual violence and harassment.

A 19-year-old male suspect in Berkeley was arrested Monday and charged with multiple felonies Wednesday after hacking the phones of teenagers across the Bay Area.

In early May, Berkley High School told the Student Resource Officer from the Berkeley Police Department that multiple female students had social media accounts hacked, according to a city press release. After they were compromised, the “hacker” searched for and accessed explicit photographs of the students, which were then posted on social media websites, and extorted the victims for additional photographs.

In the initial investigation, the press release adds, 17 victims from schools in the Bay Area were found.

The School Resource Officer coordinated with Youth Service Detectives and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to identify the Berkeley man. After investigation, law enforcement discovered the suspect possessed child pornography and personal information used to access people’s social media accounts.

The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office formally charged the man with multiple felonies — possession of child pornography, multiple counts of hacking computers and identity theft. He was additionally charged for distribution of “revenge porn,” or the distribution of private explicit photographs, said the press release.

Sebastian Cahill is the university news editor. Contact him at [email protected], and follow him on Twitter at @SebastianCahil1.