The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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October 21, 2013

Soldier accused of Facebook stalking

MANKATO — Stalking and pornography charges have been filed against a soldier accused of using Facebook to send topless photos of a former girlfriend to at least eight other people.

Robert Francis Finnegan III, 28, was in the U.S. Army and serving in Kuwait when the victim made an initial report to a Lake Crystal police officer in September 2012. The woman reported someone using the name "Mike Wrangle" on Facebook was sending the topless photographs to her friends and acquaintances.

She told the officer she was 16 years old when Finnegan convinced her to send the photographs to him, according to a criminal complaint filed in Blue Earth County District Court. He was 21 at the time, so the photographs were taken several years before they had been used on Facebook.

The officer was eventually able to talk to a woman who had received the photographs. She said she had been exchanging messages with Finnegan when he asked her if she had seen the photographs. When she said no, Finnegan logged off his Facebook account and a Mike Wrangle made a friend request a short time later. The photos were sent after she accepted the request.

Evidence that was gathered later showed the Internet access used to send the photos was in Kuwait. After contacting investigators with the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division in December, the Lake Crystal officer learned Finnegan had admitted to setting up a fictitious Facebook account with the name Mike Wrangle and using it to send the photos, the complaint said.

Finnegan is scheduled to appear in court Nov. 14 for a felony charge of disseminating pornographic work and two gross misdemeanor stalking charges.

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