A 29-year-old woman who used spyware to stalk and harass her ex-boyfriend in 2007 when she was a student at Stanford University faces up to six months in jail, according to prosecutors.
On Friday, Erin Nicole Umberg pleaded no contest to one felony and one misdemeanor count of disrupting computer services and a misdemeanor count of altering computer data. As part of the deal, she won't serve more than six months behind bars, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office.
Assistant District Attorney Al Serrato said Umberg used computer monitoring software to keep tabs on her former flame, send messages from his accounts and generally make trouble for him.
"She got into this laptop with spy software and intercepted his passwords and accounts," Serrato said. "Using that, she did a variety of things, she sent messages out, ostensibly from the main victim or some of his friends, who were also victims. She cancelled his airline reservations, and interfered with some residency programs he was applied to."
The harassment against the man, also a former Stanford student, lasted about a year.
"It was quite a bit of time where the victim had no clear idea how this was happening, it was very distressing," Serrato said.
Umberg, an assistant director of the Newkirk Center for Science and Society at the University of California, Irvine, remains out of custody on her own recognizance, according to the district attorney's office. She is scheduled to be sentenced on March 22.
Her defense attorney, Jennifer Keller, called the case "very sad," noting the two had once been in a serious relationship that included talk of marriage.
"She was going through a very difficult time in her life and unfortunately took this breakup very hard and did some things she would never do again," Keller said. "We're glad to have this resolved so everyone can move on with their lives."