In two separate yet coincidentally similar rulings, a Philadelphia man and a Pottstown woman have both been charged in connection with intimidating witnesses on Facebook.
Philly.com reported on the Philadelphia man, Mark Lee-Purvis, who was found guilty of retaliation and intimidation against a witness or victim and making terroristic threats. The 36-year-old’s $1 million bail was revoked, sending him directly to jail for cyber-threatening a co-defendant turned cooperating witness in a 2004 illegal firearms case. His messages included a picture of a rat inside a circle crossed out by a line with captions that read, “I hate Rats” and “No Rats Allowed.”
The Pottstown Mercury covered the sentencing of Alisha “Li Li” Harmon. The 24-year-old mother of a toddler “sobbed uncontrollably” when she was taken from the court in handcuffs to serve a two- to five-year state prison term. Harmon used Facebook to intimidate a witness to an attempted murder committed by her boyfriend in which she referred to the witness as a “rat” and urged him to “remain silent.” Though the witness was reportedly “terrified” by the messages, he appeared at the hearing and begged for leniency on behalf of Harmon.