Parents receiving harassing text messages even after suspect charged with violating PFA, police say

Thousands of text messages have been sent to a group of parents thanks to a spoofing app.

The harassment has been going on for nearly four years.

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“I woke up one day over a night with 130 messages in my phone. A Friday to Saturday morning. We are talking hundreds and hundreds and hundreds a week,” said Ryan O’Donnell.

The texts from a spoofing app go to Ryan, his ex-girlfriend and a large group of parents in the Chartiers Houston School District. Texts will say things making fun of student-athletes, coaches and other parents, each from a different number, making it impossible to block.

“A repeat of what I’ve heard for three years: I’m a loser, I’m fat, I’m lazy, I’m this. That’s fine. Whatever you call me, fine, but just leave these people alone,” said O’Donnell.

The case first came to light last year when Chartiers police arrested O’Donnell’s ex-wife, Kristyn O’Donnell for harassment. Last week she was arrested for allegedly arresting for violating a PFA. Parents reached out to Channel 11, shocked that the texts still did not stop.

11 Investigates asked the state senator Camera Bartolotta about any potential legislation to crack down on spoofing apps. Days later, she contacted the victims. She is now working with Senator Michele Brooks to broaden a bill already in the works to combat spoofing.

“I know this particular app is illegal in other states and I intend to make them illegal in Pennsylvania,” said Senator Bartolotta

As the wheels of justice turn slowly, the texts continue and Kristyn O’Donnell’s trial is not scheduled until August.

“The famous line is be patient. Okay, I’m patient, I’m very patient, give me your cell phone number. I’ll put your number in these texts and see how patient you are to get texts every day, all day long for three-plus years,” said O’Donnell.

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