High-profile cyberbully avoids jail time
Published Wednesday, January 16, 2013 9:18PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, January 17, 2013 9:27AM EST
MONTREAL -- A cyberpest who used Twitter to harass such celebrities as Avril Lavigne, Max Pacioretty, Guy A. Lepage, Michelle Blanc and Veronique Cloutier has been put on probation for two years.
Jean-Francois Champagne, who used the online name Jeff Sabres, was sentenced to 140 hours of community service as part of a strict series of conditions by a judge Wednesday
The 23-year-old plead guilty to a variety of charges, which included criminal harassment and uttering threats.
Judge Maurice Galarneau said the offenses were serious.
"You've used worrisome language, some of it was childish and you realize today it is a serious crime," writes Galarneau.
But the judge decided not to send him to jail.
Galarneau took into account Champagne's psychiatric difficulties and good behaviour since the incidents, which occurred between February and March 2011.
Champagne respected court-ordered conditions stopped contacting his victims and refrained from using computers.
He wrote an apology to his victims, which read, “I understand I misbehaved and I regret it. You don't have to worry about your safety, and I promise not to communicate with you."
Champagne is required to perform 140 hours of community service and follow therapy. He continues to be banned from using a computer or any other device that can get him on the internet.
The sentence is far lighter than one handed out one day earlier to Daniel Lesciewicz, who was sentenced to a record 12 years behind bars for blackmailing teenage girls after hacking into their private accounts.