COLUMBUS, Ohio – Federal authorities have charged an Ohio man with repeatedly harassing a county sheriff for nearly two decades via letters, emails and websites, with the alleged harassment apparently dating to the man's arrest by the sheriff in 1999.
Charging documents filed in federal court in Columbus charged William Young, of Columbus, with one count of cyberstalking.
Over the years, Young has falsely accused Delaware County Sheriff Russell Martin of pedophilia and filed numerous lawsuits against him, another officer and the Delaware Police Department accusing them of fraud and corruption, according to an FBI affidavit filed in federal court in support of the indictment.
Martin was with the Delaware Police Department at the time Young was arrested.
Young also barraged the sheriff and others with harassing letters, including letters sent to the sheriff's wife, doctor, barber and numerous other individuals in Delaware, the affidavit said.
"I'll force his hand if the powers that be make the mistake of coming after me again," Young said in a 62-page letter sent to Martin's wife in 2015, according to the affidavit. "Then I'll take everyone down who had a hand in what was done to me one by one."
The sheriff is not named in the affidavit or indictment but he confirmed in a statement he's the victim being referred to.
"The man the FBI arrested has threatened and harassed me and my family for years, and while I signed up for this job, my family didn't. We deserve to be safeguarded from danger — just as any other citizen," Martin said.
Federal Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Preston Deavers ordered Young detained on Friday. Young's attorney, Andrew Sanderson, declined to comment.
Martin told investigators the harassment has caused him considerable distress over the years and required him to change his routines, along with always having a gun hand free as he leaves his house or walks to his car after leaving work.
The sheriff has installed security cameras at his house and reviews the footage before he gets home, the affidavit said. The harassment has also taken a toll on the sheriff's wife.
She "is always concerned about staying alone in her residence and will often ask her adult son to come home when" the sheriff is not at home, according to the affidavit.
Young, 54, was sentenced to 30 days in jail for stalking a woman in 1999, with all but five days of the sentence suspended, the FBI affidavit said.
The following year a judge ordered Young to complete the rest of his sentence after he disobeyed orders to stay away from the woman and failed three times to report to probation, the report said.
Andrew Welsh-Huggins can be reached on Twitter at https://twitter.com/awhcolumbus. His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/andrew-welsh-huggins