PORTLAND, Maine — A local man accused of choking his mother-in-law in a case of domestic violence last month allegedly violated bail conditions by attempting to hack into his wife’s Facebook page.
Jason Ryan, 38, appeared in Cumberland County Unified Criminal Court on Monday afternoon to face the new charge, which is added to charges of aggravated assault and domestic violence assault stemming from a Nov. 17 incident.
Bail from the previous charges was revoked in court Monday, and bail on the new charge of violating bail conditions was set at $10,000.
According to court documents, Ryan forced his way into his mother-in-law’s home on Belfort Street in Portland on Nov. 17. There, he allegedly choked his mother-in-law after he couldn’t get access to his wife and two young children, who were locked in a bedroom.
In court on Monday, Assistant District Attorney Katherine Tierney said her office intends to seek a criminal threatening charge against Ryan as well.
In a written affidavit, Detective Lisa Sweatt of the Portland Police Department said Ryan’s wife reported that she was alerted by Facebook on Dec. 3 and Dec. 6 that someone had attempted to change the password and log-in email for her account on the social media website without her permission.
After an investigation, police claimed they determined Ryan was responsible for the attempted Facebook changes, according to court documents.
Attorney Robert Andrews, representing Ryan in court Monday, said his client suffered a head injury while serving in the U.S. Marine Corps and has a mental disorder and alcohol problems as a result.
“He was looking for pictures of his kids [on Facebook],” Andrews said of the alleged hack. “This is the least serious violation of bail.”
“I think based on what this family went through, any kind of contact is incredibly threatening,” she said.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence and would like to talk with an advocate, call 866-834-4357, TRS 800-787-3224. This free, confidential service is available 24/7 and is accessible from anywhere in Maine.