Threats through social media lands one woman behind bars

Gina Marie Garcia // San Benito PD

A 22-year-old San Benito woman had little choice, but to disconnect her phone, after police said she got dozens of unwanted calls.

San Benito Police Inv. Rogelio Banda said it happened after 27-year-old Gina Marie Garcia began threatening the woman - his ex-husband's girlfriend - on Facebook back in August.

Garcia was arrested at her home on Milum Street in San Benito on harassment charges.

"She posted the victim's name as well as the victim's phone number, with the message saying if somebody wanted to have a good time to call that particular number," Banda said.

The victim, Banda said, was embarrassed and tormented by Garcia TMs comments and calls from strangers.

"If the victim finds the comment posted online offensive, they can file a report with a law enforcement agency, the investigators will go through the process," he said.

Laws on cyber threats are getting tougher, Banda said, and what may seem like a casual post, could land someone behind bars on felony charges.

"It is a fairly new offense listed in the penal code, some people are not even aware that it is an actual crime, but people need to understand that it is something can be prosecuted," Banda said.

Social media sites like Facebook offer users several options on reporting threatening, bullying, offensive comments, pictures or posts. Banda said anyone victimized should take advantage of these features and immediately report it to police.

"Especially if it's a criminal investigation, you know, the websites will go ahead and remove that particular comment or flag the user as an abuser," he said.

Garcia is currently out on bond.

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