A Covina man pleaded guilty Friday to his role in a multi-year cyberstalking campaign against two teenage girls who rejected his sexual advances, federal prosecutors said.
Carl De Vera Bennington, 34, pleaded guilty via videoconference to two counts of cyberstalking, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California said in a news release.
According to the plea agreement he made with prosecutors, Bennington repeatedly sent one of his victims unsolicited online messages over a period of several years. Whenever the victim blocked him from contacting her from one of her online accounts, prosecutors said Bennington would create a new online account to continue sending her messages.
Some of Bennington’s messages to the victim included graphic content. For example, between June and November 2019, he sent the young woman messages in which he insulted her, demanded she engage in sexual acts with him and threatened to sexually assault her, according to the Attorney’s Office.
Bennington also threatened to kill the victim and her family when she demanded him to stop harassing her, prosecutors said.
Bennington also admitted to harassing another victim, who had deactivated her social media accounts in 2017 after he solicited her to engage in a sexual relationship with him. When the victim reactivated her accounts in August 2019, Bennington sent her numerous messages threatening to kill her unless she responded to his demands for sexual acts, according to prosecutors.
The victims never met Bennington in person, according to an affidavit filed with a criminal complaint in this case.
In the complaint, social media records showed that Bennington frequently made statements on internet groups that often promoted the ideology of “incels,” short for “involuntarily celibate” men. According to court documents, incels are persons who are unable to find a willing sex partner, and the ideology promotes the view that women oppress men and have too much freedom to choose their own sexual partners.
Bennington faces up to 10 years in prison at a sentencing hearing scheduled for April 14, 2021.