By: Saraana Jamraj
A Florida man has been sentenced to prison after pleading guilty of cyberstalking and threatening a former classmate he had once molested.
Former Tamarac and Jacksonville resident Byron A. Cardozo, 35, began his stalking campaign in February of 2017 after now 31-year-old victim, whose name has been withheld, wrote and published details about the sexual trauma that involved him.
In her online post, the woman described a traumatic, coercive sexual incident that occurred in 2001 between her and Cardozo, when she was 13, and Cardozo, her schoolmate at the time, was 17. While the content of the essay is unknown, it is known that she was under the age of consent at the time, and that incident resulted in long-term psychological damage and trauma for the woman.
She wrote about the events while living in Massachusetts, and while she used her real name, she used pseudonyms for everyone else and concealed Cardozo’s identity.
Her words infuriated him, and he responded persistently and repeatedly with threats of violence, sending her hundreds of online communications, many of which are the comments section of her article online, and several on her website.
Cardozo denied the coercive nature of their sexual encounter, although the victim was too young to consent to any sexual acts and went on to describe the sexual acts in graphic detail. He also described himself continuing to masturbate to photographs of her.
He did not stop at describing such lewd acts, but repeatedly made threats to injure and attack her. At times, he would switch his tone and message entirely, expressing love for her and apologizing for the 2001 incident. At times, he would blame her and threaten suicide.
The victim obtained a court order in April of 2017, forbidding Cardozo from communicating with her.
He failed to comply and continued the online attacks.
In one of the comments, Cardozo threatened, “Hear me now, I will devote my miserable life to destroying yours for what you have done you sick Godless b— you better send Seal Team 6 to kill me because you have no idea who you have just f—– with, little girl,” reported the Miami Herald.
In August 2018, he was arrested, and in August of 2019, Cardozo plead guilty to one count of cyberstalking and one count of making interstate threats.
It was far from his first brush with the law—he had previously been arrested for violating a restraining order against a 17-year-old girl who worked at a Five Guys in Jacksonville, and was convicted of misdemeanor battery against that same teen. He had also spit in the mouth of a police officer during another 2016 arrest.
For the cyberstalking and interstate threats, Cardozo was sentenced to 70 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release.
- Saraana Selene Jamraj is a writer, activist, and a student pursuing her master's degree in mass communications at Florida International University.
She's currently the communications manager at The Salt Box in Parkland and has lived in Coral Springs since 2004.