“A champion of the underdog… Laws’ work as a victim advocate continues… [and] she recounts her story in her memoir, ‘Rebel in High Heels.'” – New York Post
Excerpt I – Charlotte’s fight against Hunter Moore and revenge porn…
I had come to feel like Will Smith in Enemy of the State. I was being hunted, harassed, and stalked by criminals with technological expertise. I had been thrust into an unexpected war. I felt exposed, vulnerable, and alone on the front line. I had awoken a hideous network of villains and saboteurs, who were in pursuit of me, hoping to ruin my life. I had received terrifying emails, backlash on Twitter, and death threats. My computer had been bombarded with viruses, and a technician had advised me to buy all new equipment because the malware was too tough to remove.
“Also, be leery of unusual cars or vans in the neighborhood,” he added.
“Why?” I asked.
“If someone wants to break into your computer network, he will need to be close to your house. That is, unless he has advanced skills. Then, he could gain access from anywhere.”
I hurried home from the hardware store with my all-important purchase: heavy-duty padlocks. I knew I had to secure the gates at my residence, so that an intruder or a team of intruders could not access my backyard and possibly my home.
I pulled into my driveway, glad that the suspicious, white car with the young, male driver was no longer present. It had been there on the previous evening, according to my daughter, Kayla. She’d seen it when she returned from work, and she had monitored it for several hours until it disappeared. She did not report the incident to me until the next day.
“Mom, why was there a guy in a white car, watching our house last night?”
Because she had no knowledge of the “be leery of unusual cars or vans” warning from the computer technician, I could not accuse her of paranoia.
I affixed padlocks to the gates. Then the phone rang. It was like a gun. It had become a powerful way to threaten and to terrorize me. It was one of my enemy’s weapons. I reluctantly picked up the receiver.
“We know where you live,” a muffled, male voice rasped. “Your life will be ruined.” He hung up.
A caller that morning had told me that I would be raped, tortured, and killed. I glanced out the front window. The night that had once looked innocent and peaceful suddenly seemed ominous.
Hunter Moore’s arraignment in Los Angeles was slated for February 7, 2014. Kayla and I attended together. Surprisingly, media attention was light that day, probably because Moore had already been through a press-filled arraignment in his hometown of Sacramento. He had been released to his parents on $100,000 bond, and the judge had banned him from the Internet. The injunction against online activity was no doubt painful for him because all of his power came from that medium. Without computer access, he could not communicate with the rest of “the family.” He could not be “the father,” the enraged and unpredictable cult leader with followers who would kill for him. Offline, Moore was just an unemployed, twenty-eight-year-old, “no name” living at home with his parents in a downscale suburb of Sacramento.
Moore had come to Los Angeles to say either “guilty” or “not guilty” with his attorney and his parents by his side. The proceeding was held in the same courtroom as the Evens arraignment. Moore had a full beard, and wore a gray button-down shirt and dark pants, covered by a coat. He seemed to be trying to hide his identity with sunglasses and a baseball cap, but he shed the camouflage in the courtroom. His mother wore a white blouse, black pants, and gold earrings; and his father had on a brown jacket, jeans, and cowboy boots.
As Kayla and I entered the room, Moore turned and glanced at us. Although it was clear that he recognized me, he was not about to let my presence ruffle him. He quickly shifted his eyes away, and for the rest of the hearing he fought any temptation to look back. Kayla and I sat a couple of rows behind him and to the right.
“Is that the lady sitting back there in the green?” Moore’s attorney muttered, nodding in my direction.
Moore mumbled “uh-huh.” Neither he nor his parents turned. Any curiosity they had about the woman who instigated the FBI investigation must have been squelched by pride.
“They’re talking about you, Mom,” Kayla whispered to me.
“I know,” I whispered back.
During the proceeding, Moore’s knee twitched. It jiggled up and down, back and forth, an outlet for the nervousness that was less conspicuous on his face.
When it was Moore’s turn to stand before the judge, he was polite—just as Evens had been—saying “yes, your honor” and “no, your honor.” Also, like Evens, he took a plea of “not guilty.”
Following the proceeding, I asked the prosecutor why Moore still had a Twitter page. The judge had made it clear that his social media should be removed.
“He gets power and followers from that site,” I told the prosecutor. “Those followers continue to harass me and the other victims.”
The prosecutor then confronted Moore’s attorney with this information, but he fired back, “Hunter doesn’t want Twitter to come down because he plans to use the page for fundraising.”
Clearly this cockamamie excuse had been contrived by Moore in advance. Unfortunately, the prosecutor did not have the chutzpah to press further.
At the elevators, Moore donned his disguise—the coat, glasses, and backward-facing baseball cap—and when he got to the first floor, he jetted out of the courthouse door. He sprinted down the sidewalk like a mouse trying to outrun a stampede. It was an overreaction because the only person who wanted his photo was an Inside Edition reporter. Moore’s desperation to avoid a camera was ironic. He seemed to think unclothed pictures of others were fair game, but a clothed picture of himself—well, that was an outrageous request. Rationality and equity were obviously not his strong suit.