An Orange County man has admitted to stalking and harassing a professional video gamer player for several years, according to the United States Department of Justice.
Evan Baltierra, 29, of Trabuco Canyon, pleaded guilty to one count of stalking for the yearslong harassment campaign against a Canadian woman who is a prominent member of the “World of Warcraft” community.
Baltierra met the the unidentified victim in 2019, when she traveled to Anaheim to attend the annual gaming convention BlizzCon. Despite previous rejections and insistence that she had a boyfriend, Baltierra asked if he could visit her in her hometown in Canada, which she declined.
Eventually, the victim blocked Baltierra on social media and removed him as a moderator from her streaming channel. In response, he created hundreds of fake social media accounts with the sole purpose of harassing the victim, her boyfriend and members of her family.
As part of his plea, Baltierra also admitted to hiring someone to photoshop images of the victim’s face onto pornography. He then shared the images online and sent them to members of her family.
The victim ended up filing a restraining order against Baltierra, but the harassment continued. Using her real name and city of residence which he obtained from the protective order, he began posting her personal details online and in social media forums. He also posted links to her social media pages on pornography websites.
The victim, who streamed herself playing video games, ultimately had to stop streaming after Baltierra’s legion of fake account repeatedly spammed and harassed her videos.
In early 2021, Baltierra agreed to no longer contact the victim or her family in exchange for dissolving the protective order. But in June of that year, he called the local police department in her hometown and requested a welfare check at her home, alleging that she made online comments about killing herself. During that call, he again tried to obtain her personal address. Police did end up responding to her home for a welfare check.
From January of this year to March, he repeatedly sent threatening messages to members of her family, including one messages that read, “get a casket ready.” In March, he wrote a letter to the parents of the victim’s boyfriend, threatening that the situation was going to “end badly for her,” according to the DOJ.
In that same month, a suspicious package was sent to the victim that ultimately was found to contain condoms. Baltierra admitted to sending the package as part of his plea, DOJ officials said.
In May, Baltierra was arrested for the ongoing stalking and harassment and he appeared in United States District Court in Santa Ana to hear his charges.
On Monday, the DOJ announced that Baltierra had pleaded guilty to the stalking charge which carries a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison.
He is due back in court on Oct. 20 to be sentenced.