A 35-year-old Kalispell man was given a deferred sentence after harassing women online by posting nude photos purported to be them on Craigslist ads and sharing their contact information.
Judge Amy Eddy sentenced Mathew Cullen Bartlett on March 15 in Flathead County District Court. Bartlett received three deferred sentences after previously pleading no contest to two misdemeanors, privacy in communications and solicitation of privacy in communication, and one felony, solicitation of privacy in communications.
Montana law states someone can be charged with privacy in communications or solicitation of privacy in communications when someone “knowingly or purposely, with the purpose to intimidate, threaten, harass, annoy or offend, communicated with another by electronic message.”
According to court documents, Bartlett had harassed multiple women who had recently rejected his romantic advances. In three different instances, he posted images of the women along with nude images purported to be those women on Craigslist.
Bartlett also put the woman’s contact information on the ads. The women told investigators that they had received numerous aggressive and sexually suggestive text messages and phone calls from men who had seen the ads online and wanted to engage in sexual contact.
Bartlett also created a fake Facebook account to harass women. At least two women reported receiving threatening and intimidating messages from the account created by Bartlett.
Bartlett was initially charged with two misdemeanors and three felonies. He denied all of them during an arraignment in September 2017. Two of the felony charges were dismissed as part of a plea agreement.
During Bartlett’s sentencing hearing, attorney Peter Leander noted that the defendant had been abusing prescription pain medications that he had gotten to treat an injury he received while serving in the military. Bartlett wrote a letter that he attempted to read to the court and the victims, but he was unable to get beyond the first sentence without breaking down. Leander finished reading it for him. In the letter, Bartlett apologized for his actions.
“I am ashamed of what I did and I wish I could take back all of the emotional distress that I caused,” Bartlett wrote. “This was an isolated mistake made in an unconscious haze.”
In a letter to the judge, one of Bartlett’s victims wrote that she was the recipient of “horrifying” messages from men who had seen the Craigslist ad online and that she now has trouble trusting people because of the incident.
“This was not a joke or a prank or a mistake,” the woman wrote. “This was a crude criminal act that has severely and intentionally affected my life then, now and for the foreseeable future.”
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