Trial begins in Camden for man who allegedly attacked websites that unveiled his online affair

The Star-Ledger, New Jersey/September 15, 2010

Jury selection began in Camden today in the trial of a computer programmer charged with trying to cripple websites that published the bizarre tale of him being duped by a vigilante group into leaving his wife for a fictitious woman he met online.

Bruce Raisley, 48, of Monaca, Pa., found himself before a federal judge after engaging in a shadowy and bitter feud with members of an online organization called Perverted Justice, whose members pose as children on the Internet to expose and humiliate pedophiles.

That feud culminated when the group's founder, Xavier Von Erck, rigged a trap with one of his volunteers who posed online as a woman named "Holly" and tricked Raisley into falling in love, authorities say. He left his wife and young son, agreeing to meet "Holly" at an Arkansas airport.

But she never showed. And Raisley was humiliated. That embarrassment only deepened, authorities say, when the episode was recounted in articles published in Rolling Stone and Radar Magazine.

In response, authorities say, Raisley created a malicious program infecting thousands of computers and directed them to simultaneously attack the websites of the magazines and the Rick A. Ross Institute of New Jersey, which also posted the articles.

Prosecutors say he caused more than $100,000 in damage. He is charged with accessing computers without authorization. If convicted, he faces 10 years in prison.

Raisley, whose trial is expected to last about one week, once supported Perverted Justice, which worked with "Dateline NBC" to produce the reality program "To Catch a Predator."

But he grew disillusioned with the group's aggressive tactics in 2005, when he accused its members of using a photograph of his 10-year-old son to lure a predator. Von Erck denies using the child's picture.

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