Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Pottsville Man Indicted by Federal Court for Cyberstalking and Making Threats to Kidnap a Child

A Pottsville man was indicted last week in Federal Court for making threats online.

On Tuesday, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Aaron VanDaley, 43, of Pottsville, was indicted by a federal grand jury on February 3, 2021, for cyberstalking and making interstate threats.

According to a press release from acting United States Attorney Bruce D. Brandler, the indictment charges VanDaley with cyberstalking and making interstate threats to kidnap and injure the minor child of his former partner’s current boyfriend.

The indictment also alleges that VanDaley, made numerous false police reports against his former partner’s friends and family in order to harass them further.

The matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID), Fort Stewart, Georgia, and the Pottsville Police Department. 

Assistant United States Attorney James Buchanan is prosecuting the case.

Indictments are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.

A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

The maximum penalty under federal law for these offenses is ten years imprisonment and a term of supervised release following imprisonment. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant's educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.