A North Carolina man with a history of sexual offenses was sentenced to five years in federal prison for cyberstalking teenage girls throughout Mobile County over Facebook.
Garnett James Lloyd, 48, of North Carolina, was sentenced for a single charge of cyberstalking Tuesday — an offense he pleaded guilty to earlier this year. The case was prosecuted by United States Attorney Richard Moore’s office and Assistant U.S. Attorney Maria Murphy.
In his plea, Lloyd admitted to using Facebook to pose as a young girl named Taylor Smiths. He then made contact with at least two girls who were selling dresses on Facebook Marketplace, but after parents became suspicious, they contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
One of the mothers gave the FBI permission to assume her daughter’s profile, and according to Moore’s office, Llyod thought he was talking to a teenage girl from Mobile when he was in fact chatting with an undercover FBI agent.
Their conversations started off with Lloyd asking for pictures of the dresses the girl was selling, but that eventually progressed to him asking for “specific poses in the dresses” and eventually for “certain voyeur type photos” that he offered to agents $700 for.
After the agent refused to send additional photos, Lloyd told the agent, who he thought was a teenage girl, that if she didn’t comply, he’d contact her friends and family and “destroy her good girl status.” He later told agents that he’d edited pictures that made the girl appear to be topless and threatened to send them around to her family if she didn’t do what he asked.
He also demanded that she respond to him only with “Yes, Master” or “No, Master.”
Eventually, the FBI was able to trace messages coming from Taylor Smiths’ profile back to Lloyd in North Carolina. He was arrested on Sept. 28, 2018, in his home state, though his case was eventually transferred to the Southern District of Alabama for prosecution.
At sentencing, U.S. District Judge William H. Steele noted that Lloyd had a significant
criminal history, which includes three convictions for sexual battery and another conviction for breaking and entering into a sorority house on the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville.
Prosecutors also argued that the true nature of Lloyd’s cyberstalking and his previous offenses reflected dangerous predatory behavior and told the court he should be sentenced to the maximum statutory sentence and be required to register as a sex offender.
As part of the sentencing hearing Tuesday, the Court heard the statements of the young victim in this case as well her mother.
“The very accomplished young woman told the court that she was now afraid to practice
her running events unless she was accompanied by coaches or friends,’ a DOJ release reads. “The mother stated that her daughter frequently had anxiety about attending public events and that the entire family was now extremely cautious of strangers.”
From the bench, Steele said he agreed that “a fair and just sentence” required a sentence at the statutory maximum and condemned Lloyd to 60 months imprisonment followed by three years of supervised release. He will also be required to register as a sex offender.
In court, Steele thanked the family of the teenage victims for speaking and said they illustrate the ripple effect of these kinds of crimes can have, noting that this case has caused a lot of distress not only for the intended victim but also for her family, friends and coaches.
This page is available to subscribers. Click here to sign in or get access.
It looks like you are opening this page from the Facebook App. This article needs to be opened in the browser.
iOS: Tap the three dots in the top right, then tap on "Open in Safari".
Android: Tap the Settings icon (it looks like three horizontal lines), then tap App Settings, then toggle the "Open links externally" setting to On (it should turn from gray to blue).