Plea deal for Denver serial online harasser appears to fit a pattern of lenient punishments

DENVER (AP) — Only hours before women marched through many U.S. cities in January, Christopher Cleary set off a manhunt when he posted a Facebook message

threatening to kill “as many girls as I see” in retaliation for years of romantic rejection.

Cleary, 27, called himself a virgin who never had a girlfriend, stoking fears of another deadly rampage by a man blaming women for his problems. When police tracked his cellphone and arrested the Colorado resident at a McDonald’s restaurant in Provo, Utah, Cleary said he had been upset and wasn’t thinking clearly.

The frightening Facebook post fit a pattern of behavior for a troubled man with a history of terrorizing women he met over the internet.

His plea deal with Utah prosecutors appears to fit a pattern of lenient punishments — a common outcome for cyberstalking and online harassment cases.

“The vast majority of people, if there isn’t a lot of training and education going on, tend to dismiss these things,” said Carol Tracy, executive director of the Women’s Law Project in

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