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FBI Arrests Baker
From: David Farber <farber () central cis upenn edu>
Date: Fri, 10 Feb 1995 16:04:45 -0500
FBI ARRESTS BAKER FOR THREATS
STUDENT ARRAIGNED IN INTERNET CASE
By Josh White
The Michigan DAILY
In what could be a precedent-setting case for Internet communications
law, FBI agents arrested LSA sophomore Jake Baker yesterday on charges
stemming from e-mail messages and Internet postings he had written in
the last two months.
Abraham Jacob Alkhabaz, also known as Jake Baker, was arraigned in U.S.
District Court following his 1 p.m. arrest at his attorney's office in
Ann Arbor. U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas A. Carlson denied bail for
Baker, who was admitted to the Wayne County jail at 6 p.m. as a federal
prisoner. Baker goes by his mother's name, instead of Alkhabaz.
U.S. Attorney Saul A. Green said in a statement that Baker has been
charged with criminal "transmission in interstate or foreign commerce of
a communication containing any threat to kidnap any person or any threat
to injure the person of another."
A further hearing is scheduled for tomorrow in the U.S. District Court
on Lafayette Street in Detroit, where prosecutors will ask for bail to
be set at $100,000, said Sam Hutchins, who works in the Detroit
U.S. Attorney's Office.
Baker was denied bail because Carlson deemed him a threat to society.
University officials met yesterday in a hearing to discuss Baker's
suspension from school. The hearing lasted until 5:30 p.m., when
officials postponed proceedings until next week. Baker, due to his
arrest, was unable to attend.
University President James J. Duderstadt suspended Baker after learning
of the Internet messages.
The federal charge against Baker carries a maximum sentence of five
years in prison, Hutchins said. He also said that this case is the
first of its kind.
"As far as this office can determine, there is no precedent for a case
that involves Internet," Hutchins said. "This case will probably break
new legal ground."
David Cahill, Baker's attorney, will not represent Baker in the criminal
case because he does not do criminal work. "We're in the process of
retaining a criminal law specialist who does federal work," he said.
Cahill continues to support Baker in the case.
"I think its been blown completely out of proportion," Cahill said.
"Nothing's happened. It's admitted that nothing's happened."
Cahill said he will continue to counsel Baker for the University's
suspension hearing, and will act as an advisor for the criminal case.
FBI Special Agent Greg Stejskal filed the official complaint against
Baker. He said in an affidavit that federal agents were alerted to the
case after Department of Public Safety officers discovered questionable
messages in Baker's e-mail account. Officers were originally led to
Baker after a University alum in Moscow found a sexual fantasy Baker had
posted on the Internet.
Baker signed a letter of consent that authorized DPS to search his
belongings, including his computer files. He also initially waived his
DPS came across a posted Internet message in which Baker described the
"desire to commit acts of abduction, bondage, torture, mutilation,
sodomy, rape and murder of young women" according to Stejskal's
statement. The Internet message specifically named a female University
student, who was in Baker's Japanese class during fall semester.
Stejskal said the female is aware of Baker's message about her and that
she is "frightened and intimidated by it."
The female student's father told The Michigan Daily last night that he
did not want to comment on the case.
"This is her situation," her father said in a telephone interview from
his home. "She's a big girl. She takes care of herself. That's all I
care to say about it."
Cahill said a psychologist in Ohio who examined Baker on Tuesday
determined that he was not a threat to himself or others.
"We had a local psychiatrist who said the same thing. Fantasies are not
threats," Cahill said.
Charges against Baker come in large part from the uncovering of e-mail
messages he sent to an Ontario man identified as Arthur Gronda, the
court affidavit said.
Following the initial DPS investigation, Baker signed consent forms that
allowed DPS "to search and/or access his room, personal papers and
computer files,"the affidavit says. In searching his e-mail account, DPS
found messages in which "Baker and Gronda discuss actually getting
together to commit the acts Baker had previously depicted and
In one of the letters sent to Gronda, Baker described taking action on
fantasies he had created.
"I don't want any blood in my room, though I have come upon an excellent
method to abduct a bitch," Baker wrote. "As I said before, my room is
right across from the girl's bathroom. Wiat (sic) until late at night,
grab her when she goes to unlock the door. Knock her unconscious, and
put her into one of those portable lockers (forgot the word for it), or
even a duffle bag. Then hurry her out to the car and take her
away...what do you think?"
In a preface to a previous transmission, with an unnamed victim, Baker
wrote, "Torture is foreplay, rape is romance, and snuff is climax."
The FBI and Canadian authorities are currently investigating the case.
Note: Daily Staff Reporter Ronnie Glassberg and Editor in Chief Michael
Rosenberg contributed to this report.
Shipley found us 25 pounds of nitroglycerine from the consulate. If
they make that press release then we'll blow it up.
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- FBI Arrests Baker David Farber (Feb 10)