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StalkingWest St. Paul, MN – A divorced woman discovered that the man she’d been in an online relationship with for roughly a year was actually her ex-husband.

About three months after a contentious divorce in 2011, the West St. Paul woman struck up an extensive online relationship with a man named Aaron Carpenter.  Not unlike many online relationships, the woman shared a number of personal details with her new beau, including the difficulties she had been having with her ex-husband, a 36-year-old man named Brian Cornelius.

Over the course of the year-long romance, “Carpenter” had talked her into some presumably one-way webcam action, and even managed to talk her out of appearing at a court date to request a protection order against Cornelius, who had allegedly assaulted her in March of 2012.  The protection order request was dropped at a result.

Eventually, in August, the woman began putting two and two together, when Cornelius started cropping up in places she told Carpenter she would be.  The Carpenter persona had begun to slip, mentioning to the victim things that only Cornelius would know.  Finally, she confronted her ex, who admitted to everything.

Brian Cornelius has been charged with two counts of misdemeanor stalking and faces court on July 1.  The protection order was granted last August and is still in effect, which is probably a good thing, because misdemeanor stalking is met with a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $3,000 fine.  Considering Cornelius has no significant criminal record, he’ll likely serve minimal time behind bars.

I wrote this one in honor of the Minions, some of which have recently aired concerns of this very situation.  Police Investigator Shawna Curtis stated that the creation of false social networking profiles is a common practice among individuals looking to keep tabs on their ex.  Stay sharp, ladies.

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