ALBANY, N.Y. – New York's highest court has upheld criminal impersonation and forgery convictions while dismissing other charges against a man who used Internet pseudonyms to mock scholars in an academic debate about the Dead Sea Scrolls.
The Court of Appeals says someone who impersonates another online to harm their reputation may be guilty of criminal impersonation. It concluded that many of Raphael Golb's emails were more than a prank to cause temporary embarrassment.
Golb, an attorney and writer, disguised his identity in email messages and blog posts from 2006 to 2009 to discredit detractors of his father, a University of Chicago professor, in a dispute over the scrolls' origins.
The court, which was divided 6-to-1, upheld 19 counts. It dismissed 10 charges of aggravated harassment, identity theft and unauthorized computer use.