[Editor's Note: This morning, just before 15th Judicial District Judge Glennon Everett could render a decision on whether state prosecutors had enough evidence to move forward with the criminal case against Busted in Acadiana's Chris Hebert, his lawyer, Steven Spring, filed a motion for continuance. According to attorney Joy Rabalais, who represents Lafayette City Police in a civil suit filed by Hebert, that means the criminal case will now go to trial, which is tentatively set for March 27.]
Chris Hebert, the Busted in Acadiana Facebook page administrator and mastermind behind the BIA website indicted five months ago on charges of stalking and cyberstalking, has filed a lawsuit against his alleged victim.
He’s also suing the Lafayette Police Department, Police Chief Jim Craft and two LPD detectives for the “mental anguish” he claims to have suffered due to wrongful arrest, unlawful seizure of his computers and malicious prosecution.
Ironically, a preliminary hearing set for Thursday, which Hebert has requested for his criminal case, will likely determine whether the outrageous claims outlined in his civil suit have merit. Read the suit here.
Hebert first made headlines in September 2011 when IND Monthly identified him in a cover story as the mastermind of Busted in Acadiana, a controversial Facebook page that pooled mug shots from local law enforcement agencies and profited from public records.
The twisted administrator behind BIA was arrested less than a month later on one count each of stalking and cyberstalking for allegedly threatening a female victim, Erica Roberie, several times over the phone and online.
He faces a maximum of two years in prison and up to $3,000 in fines if convicted.
Hebert maintains his innocence in the lawsuit filed by his attorney, Stephen Spring, and accuses LPD Detective Stephen Bajat and another unidentified officer of conspiring with Roberie to falsely imprison Hebert and ruin his “good name.”
Allyson Prejean, an attorney with the Barry Sallinger Law Firm representing Roberie in her civil defense, said Judge Glennon Everett has granted a preliminary examination of Hebert’s criminal case and will decide Thursday whether the state has enough evidence to proceed with a criminal trial.
“If there’s probable cause on the criminal side, then you don’t really have grounds for a wrongful arrest lawsuit on the civil side,” Prejean says.
According to Prejean, the evidence will show that Hebert’s arrest came after detectives searched multiple electronic devices and hard drives they seized from Hebert’s home — “pursuant to search warrants that were signed by a judge.”
“He is truly a sociopath and he should be behind bars,” Roberie told The IND in an email she sent after the newspaper linked Hebert to BIA. “I know that I live in fear that he will some day really act out his threats. I just hope that he is caught and prosecuted before that happens.”
Prejean also says Hebert’s civil lawsuit and reported “other incidents of harassment” against Roberie since his arrest are in direct violation of the terms Hebert agreed to when he posted bond more than a year ago.
“It’s very clear that he is to have no contact with the victim, including contact through a third party which is what he did in this lawsuit,” Prejean says. “It's deplorable that the victim of stalking and cyberstalking is being sued. She's being revictimized. It's sick.”
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