Man charged for felony identity theft for creating fake Facebook account
–District Attorney Dan Dow announced today that 36-year-old Visalia man David William Platek has been charged with two counts of felony identity theft and one related misdemeanor charge for unlawfully impersonating Kevin P. Rice of San Luis Obispo on Facebook. Platek is alleged to have used a fake Facebook account that appeared identical to Kevin P. Rice’s account in order to publish false statements that were intended to damage Kevin P. Rice’s reputation.
On August 9, 2019, the District Attorney’s Office Public Integrity Unit filed three charges of identity theft against David William Platek and sought an arrest warrant. Later that day, a San Luis Obispo County Superior Court Judge signed and issued a warrant for Platek’s arrest.
“Widespread use of social media such as Facebook has increased the amount of identity theft on social media platforms,” said District Attorney Dan Dow. “It is important for the public to know that identity theft anywhere – even in the cyber world of social media – is a crime and will be prosecuted.”
These charges stem from an investigation into a Facebook posting that appeared on August 9, 2018 by a fake ‘Kevin Rice’ Facebook account on a San Luis Obispo Tribune article (link here: https://www.facebook.com/SLOTribune/posts/10155952362983406) about convicted sex offender Brock Turner.
“Everyone should be protected from the harm caused by someone impersonating them with the intent to damage their reputation,” said District Attorney Dan Dow. “This case is one of many that have been solved, at least in part, by using the capabilities of our Central Coast Cyber Forensic Laboratory that opened March 1, 2017.”
The case was investigated by the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Michael Frye who is assigned to the District Attorney’s Public Integrity Unit.
A criminal complaint contains charges that must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. Every defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty. A copy of the defendants criminal complaint can be found here.