[Editor's Note: This story has been updated to include additional information about property seizure in accordance with cyberstalking laws.]
It was only a matter of time. Christopher Hebert, the 36-year-old immoral mastermind behind the Facebook mug shot fan page Busted in Acadiana, was booked into the Lafayette Parish Jail Wednesday afternoon on one count each of stalking and cyberstalking.
Lafayette Police Cpl. Paul Mouton confirms that Hebert’s arrest is based on a series of complaints of both electronic and phone threats filed by a female victim late last year. Police will not release details on the alleged crimes, but Mouton says new developments on the investigation surfaced in recent weeks and led to the arrest.
The alleged victim, who asked to remain anonymous due to personal safety concerns, contacted The Independent following our Sept. 21 cover story, Busted: Busted in Acadiana. The story publicly identified the BIA administrator as Christopher Hebert, the unemployed husband of Lafayette Police officer Amanda Hebert, and exposed several disturbing antics of the page’s creator that went far beyond publishing mug shots and other public information.
Hebert's arrest is unrelated to Busted in Acadiana.
Cyberstalking is defined by Louisiana law as using “electronic communication of any words or language threatening to inflict bodily harm to any person or to such person’s child, sibling, spouse, or dependent, or physical injury to the property of any person, or for the purpose of extorting money or other things of value from any person.”
According to the statute, cyberstalking can also mean “electronically mail or electronically communicate to another repeatedly, whether or not conversation ensues, for the purpose of threatening, terrifying, or harassing any person,” or “to knowingly make any false statement concerning death, injury, illness, disfigurement, indecent conduct, or criminal conduct of the person electronically mailed or of any member of the person’s family or household with the intent to threaten, terrify, or harass.”
Mouton cannot confirm or deny whether Hebert's computers and other electronic devices were seized Wednesday afternoon due to the ongoing investigation, but Mouton says protocol allows for items related to the investigation to be seized if there is probable cause. Further review of said assets can lead to additional charges, Mouton says.
If convicted of cyberstalking, which Mouton says is a felony, Hebert faces up to one year in prison and up to $2,000 in fines, or both. If convicted for stalking, Hebert could receive a maximum one year prison sentence and up to $1,000 in fines.
“He is truly a sociopath and he should be behind bars,” the alleged victim said in an email to The Ind a week ago. “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.”
Hebert has been photographed at the Lafayette Parish Jail at least once before Wednesday’s arrest. In December 2001, he was booked for public intimidation, disturbing the peace by appearing intoxicated and remaining where forbidden following an incident on Jefferson Street.
It’s unclear whether Hebert’s mug shot will be appearing on Busted in Acadiana in coming days. The BIA page was shut down Sept. 9 after a UL student first revealed Hebert’s identity, but Hebert has been republishing the site off and on over the past few weeks. The site was still publicly available as of 6 p.m. Wednesday.
Hebert, who has repeatedly denied any involvement with Busted in Acadiana, told his faithful followers recently that if the BIA administrator were ever arrested, the mug shot would be published on BIA. The only question is whether Hebert will live up to his word.
As of 12 p.m. Thursday, Hebert remained in the Lafayette Parish Jail on a $50,000 bond.