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Palm Coast Thursday, Mar. 7, 2019 2 months ago

Shortly after release from prison, ex-police officer is charged with impersonating girl online

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Michael Gerard Stavris had impersonated a local girl online in 2014 to solicit sexual images from teen boys. In 2019, he impersonated that girl's younger sister, according to an FCSO report.

A former Bunnell Police Department officer jailed in 2016 for impersonating a local teen girl online to solicit nude photos from teen boys spent three years in prison, was released Feb. 11, and then — 15 days later — was arrested for parole violation. Now he's being charged with additional crimes for impersonating the 2014 victim's younger sister.

The parole violation charge came after deputies learned that Michael Stavris, 34, had created a Facebook profile under a false name. The terms of his parole bar him from using social media.

The charges added March 7 specify why and how he was using social media: Yet again, he was soliciting sexual attention — this time from adult men, but again by a teen girl's image and name, according to Flagler County Sheriff's Office report. The girl he impersonated after his release from prison was the younger sister of the girl he'd impersonated in 2014, who had been the daughter of Stavris' then-girlfriend.

The crime came to the FCSO's attention after the victim's mother found out about the fake Facebook account Stavris had created using her younger teen daughter's name and image. 

Stavris, posing online as the girl, had also made comments referring to stickers that had recently been placed on the back of the girl's car. The girl's mother had noted a suspicious vehicle near the home. 

"For this reason, [the victim's mother] believes that her daughter is being followed, and that the family is in danger," an FCSO charging affidavit states. 

The victim's older sister had first noticed the fake profile, telling her sister that several men had received messages from an account claming to represent the younger girl. Some of the comments indicated familiarity with the family.

Detectives reviewed one the message exchanges screen-captured by the recipient.

"It is clear that the fictitious profile was assuming, and using, the identity and likeness of the victim, without the victim's consent or authority," a detective wrote in the charging affidavit. "Additionally, the messaging of the victim's friends, while assuming the victim's identity, is an intentional act that could reasonably be expected to result in mental injury to the victim, who is a child."

When FCSO detectives and Florida Department of Law Enforcement officers showed up at Stavris' home Feb. 22 and checked his cell phone, he first admitted it was his, then denied it was his and instead said it was his mother's, then again admitted that it was his, and, further, admitted that he'd impersonated the victim on Facebook. 

A further search of Stavris' cell phone March 7 showed that he'd made Google searches for law enforcement personnel’s social media accounts and for their spouses' social media accounts, and for child pornography, according to a news release from the FCSO.

He is charged with felony fraudulent use of personal identification of a minor, felony child abuse and misdemeanor stalking, according to the news release. The investigation has not been completed, and more charges may be added. 

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