WASHINGTON — A Maryland man has been arrested on federal charges that he deliberately used an animated tweet to set off an epileptic seizure in a Newsweek reporter who had been vital of President Donald Trump.

The reporter, Kurt Eichenwald, was at his residence workplace in Dallas on December 15 when he clicked on a Twitter message despatched him by a person utilizing the pseudonym [email protected]_goldstein.” A blinding strobe mild started flashing on his display screen, sending Eichenwald — who has brazenly mentioned his epilepsy — right into a seizure. His spouse discovered him on the ground.

The Justice Department mentioned Friday that it had arrested John R. Rivello, 29, of Salisbury, Maryland, on a felony grievance from Texas charging him with cyberstalking with the intent to kill or trigger bodily hurt. If convicted, he might withstand 10 years in jail.

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An affidavit filed with the grievance mentioned search of Rivello’s Twitter account confirmed he had despatched different messages about Eichenwald saying “I know he has epilepsy” and “I hope this sends him into a seizure.”

The authorities additionally discovered an altered Wikipedia web page in Rivello’s iCloud account that confirmed a pretend obituary for Eichenwald with a death date of December 16.

Eichenwald’s lawyer Steven Lieberman mentioned using a strobe mild in opposition to a recognized epileptic was “no different than a bomb sent in the mail or anthrax sent in an envelope,” in keeping with The New York Times, the place Eichenwald spent years as an investigative reporter.

That made the incident totally different from different cyberstalking instances, the place the intent is to trigger psychological — not explicitly bodily — hurt.

Eichenwald, 55, has some 319,000 Twitter followers. He had been vital of Trump all through the presidential marketing campaign final 12 months.

When his spouse discovered him on the ground on December 15, she first referred to as 911, after which alerted the authorities to the message from [email protected]_goldstein.”

Eichenwald was incapacitated for days, misplaced feeling in a single hand, and had hassle talking for weeks, his lawyer instructed The Times.

Since the assault, Eichenwald mentioned, 40 extra accounts have despatched him strobe lights. He has handed their data to the FBI. CBB/rga

Source: inquirer