Statesville man sentenced to prison for cyberstalking

CHARLOTTE — Federal prosecutors say a North Carolina man has been sentenced to more than three years in prison after sending hundreds of harassing messages to a woman in Maryland.

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The Charlotte-based federal prosecutor’s office said in a news release that Charles Timothy Browne, 57, of Statesville, was sentenced Thursday to 43 months in prison after previously pleading guilty to cyberstalking.

Prosecutors say that Browne sent the woman approximately 730 harassing or intimidating text messages in December 2017 and January 2018. According to court documents, he referred to his gun, told her she was going to feel pain and urged her to lock her door.

Authorities say that the text messages caused the woman substantial emotional distress and caused her to fear for her life.

Federal Judge Kenneth Bell noted when sentencing Browne that the texting occurred while Browne was subject to a court protective order that prohibited him from contacting her.

An attorney for Browne declined to comment Monday.

“Mr. Browne has no comment pending any appeal of this matter,” Kevin Tate, a federal public defender, said in an email.