A 29-year-old former airport cop, Evan Baltierra, was arrested this week and charged in federal court with allegedly harassing a World of Warcraft streamer off of Twitch. The two met in person at BlizzCon 2019, according to an accompanying affidavit, but when the streamer declined to be his “valentine” and later took away his mod privileges from her Twitch channel he allegedly began a targeted harassment campaign against her, her boyfriend, and her family.
“In March 2022, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Baltierra’s residence and seized several items, including a thumb drive that contained many photoshopped nude images with the victim’s face on them, and evidence on Baltierra’s iPhone of email accounts with which he used to send the victim harassing messages,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California wrote in a May 24 press release, via Polygon.
According to the affidavit, after the streamer, who goes by Nali online, told Baltierra not to come visit her where she lived in Canada, he allegedly began asking around for her physical address. Baltierra was previously a longtime viewer on her WoW Twitch channel. Nali removed his moderation privileges in June 2020 and proceeded to block him on social media. “He went ballistic,” she wrote in a Twitlonger post detailing the ordeal earlier this year.
Baltierra allegedly began creating fake accounts posing as Nali, spreading porn with her face photoshopped in and sending it to her friends and family. The FBI investigator in the case claimed Baltierra was formerly a Marine with at least one combat deployment, and later briefly employed as a police officer at the Los Angeles World Airport, but resigned before completing his probationary period.
“I quit streaming in February 2021 due to the constant harassment from [Baltierra],” Nali wrote in her Twitlonger. “This was my primary income at the time.”
Around the same time she obtained a temporary restraining order through the Orange County Superior Court, which Baltierra signed. However, his harassment allegedly persisted. The affidavit states that Blizard reportedly banned Baltierra from World of Warcraft and Battle.net over his conduct, and that Nali told police the video game studio also hired a security person to accompany her at events like BlizzCon. Blizzard did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Baltierra was charged with one count of stalking, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison.
Update: 7/12/22, 2:02 p.m. ET: Baltierra pleaded guilty on July 11, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced yesterday. In his plea agreement, Baltierra said he created hundreds of social media accounts to send threatening messages, paid a third party to create photoshopped nudes, and sent Nali a “suspicious package” in March 2022 that was later revealed to be a box of condoms. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for October 20.