Trial begins for Vancouver man accused of tormenting wife with “revenge website”

Patrick Fox of Burnaby, B.C., is shown in this undated handout image. THE CANADIAN PRESS

A trial is underway for a Vancouver man charged with criminal harassment for allegedly maintaining a “revenge website” against his former wife.

Patrick Fox, formerly known as Richard Reiss, is alleged to have created the website years after his marriage to Desiree Capuano fell apart in 2001. He is also facing two firearms charges.

In addition to the one count of criminal harassment, he’s also facing two firearms charges.

Capuano took the stand in a Vancouver courtroom Monday, shielded by two privacy screens, describing a bitter custody battle that unfolded after the breakup.

Fox’s criminal harassment charge relates to a period from January 2015 to May 2016.

He allegedly created the site back in 2013, following his deportation back to B.C. from Arizona where he and Capuano had resided.

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But Capuano testified that harassment began even before then, with Fox allegedly sending hostile and threatening emails as well as creating a false and defamatory LinkedIn account in her name.

The case raised significant legal questions about online harassment and legal protections for victims after investigators recommended charges against Fox in 2015, but they were not approved by Crown.

Then-Attorney General Suzanne Anton said authorities could revisit the case if new evidence surfaced.

The charges he’s currently facing were approved in June of 2016.

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