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The Times' criminal justice team looks behind the scenes and behind the headlines.

October 20, 2010 at 11:50 AM

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Bellevue woman accused of harassing ex-husband online

Posted by Jennifer Sullivan

A Bellevue woman accused of sending more than 200 emails and online posts filled with vulgar language and pornographic images to friends, relatives and colleagues of her estranged husband has been charged with eight counts of felony cyber-stalking.

Deborah M. Sanders, 47, allegedly sent the messages over the course of nine months using fake names and accounts, according to charging paperwork filed Friday in King County Superior Court. Sanders had been forbidden from contacting her estranged husband and his family through a no-contact order, charging papers said.

Issaquah police said that Sanders sent 215 "lewd, lascivious and sexually explicit" messages using 19 different identities between April 2009 and January, according to the charges. The messages were sent over email and social networking sites, including Facebook.

Sanders and her husband were divorced in December.

Sanders allegedly sent messages claiming that her estranged husband had cheated on her and she made made sexually explicit comments about the man's girlfriend, charging papers said. In several of the messages, Sanders allegedly told recipients she would not stop sending the messages notes unless they dropped her estranged husband as a Facebook "friend."

Several of the Facebook messages were sent to children, police said. Sanders is accused of telling one teenager that her estranged husband was "a sex addict," according to the charges.

When police interviewed Sanders in May 2009 she told investigators that the harassing messages came from her friends, charging papers said. During the interview, Sanders conceded she was angry at her estranged husband, charging papers said.

Sanders was not arrested in connection with the charges; she was instead summoned to court.

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