"All it took was my response to a stranger's email that set into motion four years of torment, humiliation and damages to my professional and personal life." - Cheryl Meril, Nob Hill Notary Services
San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) May 17, 2010
On May 13, 2010 San Francisco Superior Court Commissioner William R. Gargano awarded Cheryl Meril (formerly Cheryl Merrill), a former singer, a judgment of $25,138 for defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress against Joel Sean Gray in Case No. CGC-09-493462.
The dispute began back in 2006 when Meril had posted on a forum on Craigslist in defense of the late former Chancellor Denise Denton of U.C. Santa Cruz. Meril explained, “There was some extremely vicious individual posting disturbing photo depictions of death and rape of corpses.” Meril, who was an emerging recording artist with an on-line presence as a singer at the time, had made the mistake of responding to an email from someone on the forum angry with her defense of Chancellor Denton. Meril stated, “After he got my email and IP address, the craziness began. He then found my name and singing blog on the Internet and began on-line ID theft, later authoring an anonymous nasty blog, posting vicious material on the now defunct RottenNeighbor.com, Zimbio and YouTube including falsely accusing me of being a felon and someone under police investigation. "
Meril's lawsuit and supporting declarations described the cyber stalking and defamation as overwhelming and disturbing, “He posted nasty stuff on SFGate.com’s Violet Blue’s sex blog under my name and used my email address to send emails to Mayor Gavin Newsom who I'd get auto responders from. Even worse, in some of his posts he made it appear he knew me as if he was a disgruntled former boyfriend.” Meril said she wasn't the cyber stalker's only victim as there were two others, "Two other victims testified under oath against the defendant and one of them was a former friend from high school long ago. These guys were extremely traumatized by the cyber stalker's cruelty as much as I was."
Due to the cyber stalker’s activities that had also attracted other stray cyber stalkers, in 2008 Meril had to end her dream of performing as a singer with a jazz trio on cruise ships. Meril had been studying with jazz pianists Michael Smolens and Ken Muir to perform in San Francisco as well, explaining "I was also performing with great jazz musicians such as guitarist Chris Pimentel in a jazz workshop performing at Bistro Yoffi's I really enjoyed. After the cyber stalker(s) attacked, I eventually gave up my dream for good. I feared for my safety especially after hearing of another singer, Robin Munis, being sniper downed by her former husband." After getting an education in law at National Paralegal College with a 4.0 GPA, in 2009 Meril started her own businesses in San Francisco, Nob Hill Notary Services and At Your Service Legal Document Prep. In reflecting on her new field of work Meril chimed, “It seemed only natural I should learn about the law under the circumstances."
After the defendant's name had been disclosed by Craigslist back in 2007 he had since changed his name having since laid low. He once again started up with his on-line mischief in an attempt to damage Meril’s new businesses. Meril explained, “It felt a lot like the horror movie Night of the Living Dead. Suddenly a zombie came back to life and started attacking me again. Out of the blue the defendant suddenly sent me disturbing threats and I had to eventually get a restraining order against him awarded by the Concord Superior Court in October, 2009.” Meril wants to share how she now avoids Internet strangers' provocateur operations, “I will never respond to any stranger’s email from an unknown source again. This has happened to me twice as perpetrators always send a bait email to lure me in as their intended victim. When I took their bait they got my identity and IP address. As a singer I was an easy target but this can really happen to anyone at anytime."
Having been on the receiving end of virtual backstabbing strangers since 2006, Meril has more information to share, "These kind of cyber stalkers are entertained by sadistically tormenting and abusing their victims on the Internet. The cybers never expect to be discovered anonymously so it takes a lot of time, effort and money to get credible evidence that can be used in a court of law against them. I discovered cyber stalkers like to think of themselves as George Orwell's Big Brother and fantasize that the government's on their side. I'm relieved and grateful that the San Francisco Superior Court sided with me after I filed a large body of evidence, including a deposition, subpoenaed evidence of a DSL account, affidavits and court testimony of third parties. It took several months to gather all the evidence for my case."
In the meantime, Meril's recovering from the disruption to her new businesses and personal life, “I bought a folding electric bicycle I use to get around as a mobile notary public for my businesses and just love my new lifestyle meeting new people each day. Whenever something bad happens in life, I try to turn it around by learning from it and making things better. I've also begun studying Eckhart Tolle's Power of Now and A New Earth materials. I must say these mind control cyber stalkers scared the hell out of me so much that it drove me to a spiritual path."
Sample of Cheryl Merrill's vocals:
Cheryl Meril's businesses are located at:
Nob Hill Notary Services
50 California Street, Suite 1500
San Francisco, CA 94111
Disclaimer: Suggestions addressed in this press release regarding cyber stalker issues do not constitute legal advice. If you are experiencing problems with a cyber stalker, you should seek the advice of a qualified attorney.