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UGA grad student faces federal charges after cyberstalking woman for over a year, DOJ says

He allegedly harassed her to keep sharing sexually explicit videos and photos with him, threatening that he'd share the images with her family if she didn't comply.

ATHENS, Ga. — The Department of Justice said a graduate student at the University of Georgia was arrested for cyberstalking a Massachusetts woman for more than a year and a half. 

Authorities are also looking for other potential victims. 

The UGA student accused, 23-year-old Gary Leach of Athens, is being charged with one count of cyberstalking and one count of extortion after he allegedly elicited sexually explicit videos and photographs from her.

The DOJ said the student will appear in federal court in the Middle District of Georgia also on Friday. 

According to the DOJ, documents show Leach obtained private video calls and photos from the woman starting in October 2019. They claim he got them after making payment promises through an anonymous Instagram account. They alleged he secretly recorded the images during the calls.

He then allegedly harassed her to keep sharing sexually explicit videos and photos with him, threatening that he'd share the images with her family if she didn't comply.

The DOJ said while he was messaging with the woman, he told her: "Sweetheart I have hundreds of vids and thousands of pictures meticulously categorized by name."

If convicted, authorities said the charge of stalking by electronic means "provides a sentence of up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000.

Additionally, the charge of extortion of injury "provides a sentence of up to two years in prison, one year of supervised released and a fine of $250,000." 

Anyone who believes they might have been a victim of Leach is asked to contact authorities. They lave listed resources online on how to reach out to them.