Online impersonation is a crime in Texas, which is what former Judge Christoper Dupuy is being charged two counts of. In a case similar to that of Preston Alexander McWaters’, the 43 year old also has problems with handling rejection from women.
You see, Dupuy had known a woman – let’s call her Jane – for 20 years and had dated her for 6 years until she ended the relationship in August 2014 and decided to marry someone else. That marriage didn’t work out and Jane got a divorce. She had Dupuy represent her in the divorce proceedings in which he at one point asked her if they could be in a relationship together again. Jane declined and he was angered by this.
Dupuy began aggressively stalking her on Facebook and making comments about other men she interacted with, he also saved pictures and sent them to her with derogatory remarks. Jane put up with this until her divorce was finalized in November 2014 and cut off all contact and ignored him. She told the investigating officer, Scott Hardcastle, that Dupuy had been harassing her ever since they broke up in August 2014.
In December 2014, he graduated from Facebook harassment to something more sinister. Jane began receiving several phone calls and text messages. Finally answering one the calls, she found out that she was on backpage.com purporting to be a prostitute. The advert stated she charged $70 an hour. Jane told the Deputy she contacted that she isn’t a prostitute, didn’t post the advert, and didn’t give anyone permission to post the advert. She told the Deputy that she suspects that Dupuy was behind this.
Hardcastle interviewed Jane in January 2015 where she told him what she told the Deputy. He then researched into Dupuy’s life and found out that he was a Judge. Six days later, he sent a subpoena to backpage.com and learned the user name, email address, home address, IP address, and credit card number of the account that posted the advert. The home address used was Jane’s and the account was associated with numerous IP addresses.
Apparently, the account made two adverts for the same person – Jane. One advert used a picture that Jane took while she was dating Dupuy and only sent to one person – Dupuy.
Hardcastle looked into the credit card number and using a BIN checker, he found that it was Visa credit card. After contacting Visa, he was redirected to GreenDot who told them it was gift card and wasn’t registered to anyone so they were of no help.
After that dead end, Hardcastle turned his attention toward the IP addresses. 18.104.22.168 is an IP address in Germany connected to the provider 23Media and 22.214.171.124 is an IP address in Venezuela connected to the provider Roya Hosting. He quickly determined that these IP addresses were VPNs.
When the Venezuelan national police cyber-crimes unit was contacted, they told Hardcastle that 126.96.36.199 “resolves to the state owned telephone and internet company C’Amv” and that “that this hosting service is designed to conceal the true location of the user and that there would be no further way to discover the identity of the user”.
Germany was of no help either because when Hardcastle reached out to Homeland Security to assist him, they told him that weren’t able to trace the identity “due to the fact that Germany only retains IP Address logs for seven days”.
Hardcastle never determined which VPN service the IP addresses belonged to but the hosting providers have been associated with a few, including HideMyAss. The Houston Press reports that Dupuy used HideMyAss but Hardcastle’s affidavit never states this.
And so, Hardcastle looked into the user name of the backpage account, “Don Tequila”. He determined that it was a false alias and was associated with a Facebook page that makes negative comments about Dupuy and hates him. Hardcastle moved onto the next piece of information associated with the backpage account – the email address, firstname.lastname@example.org.
A subpoena was issued to MSN Hotmail on late February 2015 and they responded with the requested information on May 2015. The name listed on the email address was Don Tequila and it was registered using a VPN IP address in Germany.
However, a history of IP addresses associated with the email address was given as well. One of those IP addresses being: 188.8.131.52 located in League City, Texas provided by Comcast. Four days later, a subpoena to Comcast was sent and – surprise, surprise – the records show that the subscriber for that IP address is Christoper Dupuy.
A search warrant was executed on June 2015 for Dupuy’s residence, and when his door was kicked in, he was found in the kitchen. When asked to put his hands up, a bullet fell from his hand. Hardcastle asked for the gun and Dupuy complied and told him where it was. He found a 9mm pistol.
While Dupuy’s residence was searched, a bag was found in his bathroom hidden between the toilet and bathtub. The contents of the bag are pictured below:
Dupuy was charged with two counts of online impersonation and his bail was set at $600,000 but was later reduced to $400,000.
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