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Roberts man accused of Facebook stalking

A 43-year-old Roberts man created a fake Facebook account to contact a teenager, according to charges filed last week in St. Croix County Circuit Court.

Prosecutors charged Chad E. Smith with one count of felony stalking and a misdemeanor count of sending a threatening computer message without disclosing an identity. He was released on a $10,000 signature bond after his initial court appearance Thursday.

According to a criminal complaint, Roberts police were contacted on Oct. 30, 2015, about Smith sending “inappropriate” Facebook messages to a teenage girl.

A review of Facebook messages allegedly revealed that Smith had created a fictitious account in the name of “Travis Lassiter” that he used to contact the girl, who was younger than 16. The Lassiter account first messaged the girl on Oct. 20, 2015, telling her he was depressed and that he cuts himself. The series of messages that day included one stating “How you doing sexy?”

According to the complaint, Smith used his own account the next day to message the girl that “his friend” Travis had attempted suicide.

Messages sent in subsequent days from the Lassiter account probed whether the girl had a boyfriend. One read “Actually I am kinda in love with you! Your [sic] really really pretty!”

The complaint states Smith messaged the girl from both accounts over several days in late October.

The girl told police “she was scared when she found out who Travis really was,” the complaint states.

Police interviewed Smith on Oct. 30, 2015. He allegedly admitted to creating the Lassiter account, but “doesn't think he did anything wrong,” according to the complaint.

“He stated that what he was doing was harmless and he wanted to play the 'good guy' and the 'bad guy' by creating the Travis Lassiter account,” the complaint states.

A preliminary hearing in the case is set for June 21.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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