Former Ohio Trooper Faces Federal Cyberstalking Charges

May 18, 2017

A criminal complaint against Elschlager says the victim feared for her safety, and feared she had nowhere to go because Elschlager said he knew people in law enforcement.

A former Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper who escaped state charges of misusing a state law enforcement database now faces federal cyberstalking charges.

Former trooper William Elschlager was previously stationed in Delaware, where he still faces other charges after prosecutors say he took guns seized as evidence.

The new federal charges stem from Elschlager’s time at a post in Marietta, where prosecutors say he had an affair with the wife of another trooper. When that relationship ended, a federal criminal complaint says Elschlager stalked the victim by putting a GPS tracking device in her cell phone, conducting unlawful traffic stops, and filming her through a house window.

In one instance, the victim told investigators her car overheated and broke down because of a missing radiator cap. Prosecutors say Elschlager showed up at the scene to fix the car, even though he hadn't spoken to the victim.

Prosecutors say a later search of Elschlager's electronic devices revealed internet searches using phrases including, "How long can a car go without a radiator cap?"

Prosecutors also say they found Elschlager in possession of personal information about 10 women he’d previously pulled over. Prosecutors say he got their addresses, birth dates and social security numbers by running their driver's licenses through a state database. 

Washington County prosecutors declined to say why the state charges were dropped, but they were done so without prejudice, meaning they can still be re-filed.

A federal criminal complaint for cyberstalking was issued Wednesday, and court records did not list a date for arraignment.