LSU Police locate Florida man accused of harrassing students via Facebook

POSTED: Monday, December 20, 2010 - 3:54pm

UPDATED: Monday, December 20, 2010 - 3:57pm

This is an NBC33 News update: LSU Police Detective Jason Bettencourt identified the man accused of harassing students through Facebook.

Detective Bettencourt was able to track the suspect through his computer’s IP address and by working with Facebook officials to gain clues to his whereabouts. LSU PD secured the arrest warrant for the individual, then enlisted the help of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to secure a search warrant for his premises.

Three LSU Police Detectives – Bettencourt, Kevin Scott and Stephen Kazusky – drove to Key West to assist the Key West Police Department and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement in making the arrest.

“I am always amazed but never surprised at the diligence and determination these officers put forth with regard to investigations,” LSU Police Chief Lawrence Rabalais said in a press release. “Without a doubt, they are an extreme asset to the department and the LSU community at large.”

The case first made national headlines in early December, when it was featured on NBC’s “The Today Show.” Since then, many other national and local media outlets have covered the story. LSU Police spokesperson Sgt. Blake Tabor was also featured on “The Today Show” when the suspect was arrested.

After learning of the arrest, LSU Chancellor Michael V. Martin extended his thanks and congratulations to the LSU Police Department for their diligence to the case.

“At LSU, we have a covenant with our students to provide them with a high-quality education, but we also have a covenant with their parents to do the best we can to keep their children safe while they are on our campus,” Martin said. “I am very pleased that the LSU Police Department was so successful in this investigation, and I’m even happier that so many students, both at LSU and across the Southeast, will be safer as a result.”

Original Story:

BATON ROUGE, La (NBC33) – A Florida man is accused of harassing LSU students via Facebook.

The LSU Police Department began receiving complaints on October 5, 2010 from students who say they were contacted by an unknown person on Facebook who claimed to be a member of their respective sorority. The victims say they were led to believe this person was responsible for their membership and that their status was in jeopardy. They were then asked to send inappropriate photographs and web-cam videos as apart of their initiation.

Detectives then discovered this was a case that spread across several universities across multiple states. Through a collaborative effort, a man was identified and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement obtained a search warrant. They located evidence to suggest that Mitchell Hill, 27, of Key West, FL.

The LSU Police Department requests that any additional victims that have not come forward to please do so. Louisiana State University and the Police Department have also made available services through LSU Mental Health Services, to any victims of this crime. Victims can reach the LSU Police Department at (225) 578-3231.

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