05.25.2022 | 10:00 PM | SANTA ANA – A Trabuco Canyon man was arrested and charged in connection with a multi-year harassment campaign and stalking of a professional online gamer, authorities announced Tuesday.
Evan Baltierra, 29, of Trabuco Canyon, was arrested by FBI agents on Monday afternoon and charged with one count of stalking in connection with the multi-year campaign aimed at harassing a professional World of Warcraft player in Canada, according to the United States Attorney’s Office.
The harassment campaign began in July 2020 and was described in court filings by the government as being motivated by Baltierra’s romantic interest in the victim.
That interest began less than a year earlier in November 2019 when Baltierra met the victim during a meet-and-greet in Anaheim at Blizzcon, a convention for fans of games including World of Warcraft.
Following the meet-and-greet at the convention Baltierra reportedly asked the victim to be his “valentine” but was informed that the victim already had a boyfriend. Baltierra subsequently offered to visit the victim in Canada but was once again turned down.
The victim subsequently removed Baltierra from his role as a moderator of her streaming channel and blocked him from social media.
Despite this Baltierra continued to contact the victim by sending messages with threats of violence through various internet platforms and later created fake online profiles that displayed photoshopped images, including those containing pornography, of the victim, the government alleges.
Ultimately the victim obtained a restraining order, and later an agreement signed by Baltierra promising to end the harassment campaign, but the stalking continued.
Evidence implicating Baltierra in the harassment campaign, including a thumb drive with the photoshopped images of the victim, were recovered by law enforcement executing a search warrant at his residence in March 2022.
If convicted Baltierra could face a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison.
World of Warcraft is a long-running and popular online role-playing computer game made by Blizzard Entertainment.