German citizen, was sentenced today to 97 months in prison for cyber-stalking and extorting his former American wife.
Last November, a jury found him guilty upon learning of the bizarre events that transpired after the couple's divorce: Petrovic posted on a website some images of them having sex (which he'd secretly recorded). He also added personal information about the woman's past and her children.
In addition, the jury learned how Petrovic printed that web address on about 150 postcards and mailed them to her colleagues, friends, family -- even the local Walgreens. He told her he'd take down the site if she gave him furniture, her wedding ring and $100k.
"I was out of my mind," Petrovic told the court today in a long,
meandering statement delivered with a heavy German accent (he was born
in Croatia but grew up in Germany; he also has a doctorate in
His attorney, Steve Stenger
, added that the government had "overreached" in a private dispute, and sought to "demonize" his client.
Assistant U.S. attorney John Sauer
, however, countered that Petrovic "made himself
into a demon" by committing acts that were "vile, appalling and
disgusting." The defendant's deeds were coldy calculated in advance,
Sauer added, to destroy his ex-wife and inflict as much personal pain
and humiliation as possible.
In the end, it came down to the opinion of U.S. district court judge Henry Autrey
can do so many things with the Internet," Autrey said drily. "Nobody
can see us as we slink and stalk and covet. It's fun. The Internet is a
But Petrovic was trying to diminish his
responsibility, the judge observed, by suggesting that his ex-wife was
complicit in his crimes. Autrey -- like the jury -- found such a version
of events "inconceivable."
The government had asked for a
sentence above the guideline range for a total of 87 months. Judge
Autrey went above and beyond that, sending Petrovic away for 96 months.
Petrovic said he would appeal.