Programmer is convicted of attacking websites that told story of humiliating fake affair

The Star-Ledger, New Jersey/September 22, 2010

A computer programmer was convicted of computer crimes today in federal court in Camden for crippling several websites that published the bizarre tale of him being humiliated by an online vigilante group.

Bruce Raisley, 48, of Monaca, Pa., was arrested following his bitter feud with the group Perverted Justice, whose members pose as children online to expose pedophiles. The dispute peaked when the group baited Raisley with erotic messages, tricking him into leaving his wife for a woman who didn't exist.

Raisley was humiliated - particularly when the story was retold in Rolling Stone and Radar magazines. So he created a potent virus 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.

Raisley was convicted of accessing computers without authorization and faces 10 years in prison.

Raisley first encountered Perverted Justice in 2004 and was initially a fan of the group, which worked with "Dateline NBC" on the reality program "To Catch a Predator." But he later became a critic, authorities said.

In turn, the group's founder, Xavier Von Erck, said he had a volunteer pose as an adult woman named "Holly" to meet Raisley online. He fell in love, authorities say, and agreed to leave his wife and son to meet "Holly" at an airport near his home in Arkansas.

But "Holly" never showed, but Von Erck sent a photographer to shoot Raisley waiting with flowers to seal the defendant’s humiliation.

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