Navy Captain Accused of Making Fake Social Media Profiles Using Woman's Explicit Photos


A San Diego-area Navy captain who allegedly posted sexually explicit photos and videos of a woman onto the internet without her knowledge or consent appeared in San Diego federal court Monday on a federal cyberstalking charge.

Theodore E. Essenfeld, 51, of Chula Vista, is accused of creating fake social media accounts of the woman and posting "erotic and sexually explicit content" online, including photos and videos she had privately shared with him.

The U.S. Attorney's Office alleges he also created fake dating profiles using the woman's information and created a LinkedIn account under her name that falsely advertised that she was a professional pole dancer.

An indictment returned against Essenfeld alleges the conduct took place over an 18-month period.

U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman said in a statement, "The indictment alleges a disturbing campaign of betrayed trust, harassment, and intimidation."

People suspicious of cyberstalking by an active-duty service member can contact the following anonymous tip lines:
- Navy and Marines:
- Army:
- Air Force:

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