THE 37-year-old man who was arrested for allegedly stalking and sexually harassing a prominent female photographer will be the first ever individual to be charged under the new Section 507A of the Penal Code for stalking.
The man, who had harassed Acacia Diana for nearly eight years, had created over 30 social media accounts and sent her lewd content online. He even followed her all the way to the United Kingdom, The Star reported.
According to Petaling Jaya OCPD Asst Comm Mohamad Fakhrudin Abdul Hamid, the man would be charged under the newly-minted Section 507A of the Penal Code.
“He will be brought to the Shah Alam court tomorrow (Aug 10) morning to face the charges,” he told the English daily when contacted today (Aug 9).
Under the new Section 507A of the Penal Code, stalking was defined as a repeated act of harassment intended to or likely cause distress, alarm or fear to anyone’s safety.
It was previously reported that Acacia had filed three police reports about the stalking matter to date: 2018, 2022 and a fresh one on July 16, 2023 at the behest of Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri so the case could be investigated under the new anti-stalking law.
In a series of tweets in July, Acacia spoke about her ordeal of being stalked and sexually harassed by a man for almost eight years.
Sharing her ordeal online, Acacia detailed how the stalking began innocuously, with weird comments and emails that gradually escalated into constant surveillance and invasive actions such as the stalker following her, showing up at her home, and harassing her family.
According to her, the stalking began in 2016 when she noticed strange comments on her blog.
The stalker continued to contact Acacia through various email addresses and social media accounts, relentlessly harassing her online. Despite her repeated pleas for him to stop, the stalker’s actions escalated over time, causing significant distress and disruption in her life.
Acacia also shared that the man was arrested in the United Kingdom in 2018 and released on bail while police investigated the case there.
She claimed that the police there intended to charge him with sexual harassment and stalking but he left for Malaysia and did not show up for his court date.
Acacia also shared that despite her efforts to reach out to the stalker’s family to stop the harassment, his family refused to cooperate and had even blocked her.
Through the series of tweets, the photographer also shared that she had considered suicide and self-harm due to the years-long harassment.
On July 23, it was reported that the man is being held at the neurology ward in Hospital Kuala Lumpur (HKL).
The police have sought permission from the Malaysia Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to block the suspect’s social media accounts to stop him from harassing the victim. – Aug 9, 2023
Main pic credit: The Malaysian Reserve