EVERETT — An Everett man was sentenced Monday to six years in federal prison for a years-long online revenge porn campaign against his ex-wife.
In June, a judge in U.S. District Court in Seattle found Christopher Crawford, 42, guilty of cyberstalking and sending threats to his ex-wife, a sailor in the U.S. Navy.
“No one should have to experience cyberstalking and harassment ever. Crawford created an environment of constant fear and anxiety for the victim for three years,” Acting U.S. Attorney Tessa Gorman said Monday in court. “The abuse was unrelenting.”
Crawford was a stay-at-home dad to their daughter for six years while his wife served in the Navy, court documents say. By the time they separated in April 2019, the woman reportedly had restraining orders against Crawford in Washington, California and Texas.
“I fear he will never stop going after me in any way he can,” she wrote in her divorce statement. “I am fearful for what my daughter has learned from watching us interact. My daughter and I are not safe physically or emotionally when with (Crawford).”
Since 2020, Crawford distributed intimate photos of his former partner to websites, family members and colleagues in the Navy, charging papers say. During an investigation, authorities discovered almost 250 digital files of harassing emails, text messages and audio files. He repeatedly told her his goal was to make her kill herself.
“Why would you assume that your nude photos were only on one site?” Crawford wrote to her in 2021. “Every single time I miss my daughter, I am going to make you suffer for it.”
In October 2021, Crawford sent nearly 40 intimate photos of his ex-wife to 14 public U.S. Navy emails, claiming she was a sex worker who solicited clients online, charges say. Through emails, Crawford also threatened to send photos to her family, prisons and neighbors.
Crawford also reportedly told his ex-wife he had sent her personal contact information to contacts in prison and on the Dark Web.
Cyberstalking is a crime punishable up to five years in prison, according to federal law.
The woman told investigators she was being treated for post-traumatic stress disorder due to her ex-husband’s harassment.
After a five-day jury trial in June, U.S. District Judge James Robart handed down Crawford’s sentence Monday — tacking on one year more than what prosecutors had requested.
Defense attorney Michael Martin asked the court to consider a shorter sentence due to Crawford’s mental health issues, arguing his post-traumatic stress disorder from childhood abuse was “inextricably intertwined” with the offenses, according to court documents.
“Mr. Crawford is realistic about the conditions of his confinement and does not expect to find any opportunities to improve his mental health while in custody,” Martin wrote in a 150-page report to the court. “(Crawford) submits that the imposition of a long sentence will only delay and thereby impair his rehabilitation.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Cecelia Gregson argued Crawford’s harassment psychologically, professionally and financially harmed his ex-partner.
“The intentions driving his maniacal persistence,” Gregson said, “were to cause the victim to commit suicide or to create an atmosphere through cyber warfare that drew in other malevolent souls to do his bidding whether that be rape, torture, or murder.”
If you are experiencing intimate partner violence, resources are available.
Community resources for domestic violence:
• Providence Intervention Center for Assault and Abuse: 425-252-4800
• Domestic Violence Services: 425-25-ABUSE (425-252-2873)
If you are in an emergency situation, you can text 911 if you are worried about being overheard on the phone.
• National Crisis Text Line: 741741
• National Domestic Violence Hotline: Call 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-799-7233 for TTY, or if you’re unable to speak safely, you can log onto thehotline.org or text LOVEIS to 22522.
• Care Crisis Line: 800-584-3578 or 425-258-4357
• Care Crisis Chat: imhurting.org
• Disaster Distress Helpline: Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746.
• The Disaster Distress Helpline provides crisis counseling and support for anyone in the United States experiencing distress or other behavioral health concerns related to any natural or human-caused disaster, including public health emergencies.
• Dial 2-1-1: If you need assistance finding food, paying for housing bills, accessing free childcare, or other essential services, visit 211.org or dial 211 to speak to someone who can help.