Casual encounters: Alleged fake Craigslist poster denied bond
Men kept showing up at the victim's house in Fauquier County wanting sex, she testified– more than 100 males between January and March 20.
A federal judge in Charlottesville denied bond April 5 to Kenneth Edward Kuban, who is accused of posting the fake "close encounters" ads on Craigslist that directed men to his former girlfriend's house.
Kuban, 61, a film preservationist for the Library of Congress in Culpeper, is charged with two federal counts of stalking for using the Internet to post the fake sex-wanted ads on Craigslist.
The victim, a widow and retired protocol officer for the Department of Defense who is identified as L.M. in court papers, testified in U.S. Western District Court.
She met Kuban on an online dating site in August 2010, a year after her husband died. They dated for four-and-a-half months, she told the court, until February 4, 2011, when she asked him to pick up his stuff. She didn't want to be in a relationship with him anymore, she said, because of his "abnormal behavior."
The victim described how Kuban would use her barbecue grill as an ashtray, and drink orange juice and milk right out of the bottles without pouring it into a glass. "He was just a Neanderthal man," she declared.
There were also the sexual abnormalities. "He liked nipple torture and he liked to scream," she said.
When Kuban didn't get the message the relationship was over and kept calling and emailing her, he was arrested and charged with stalking in July 2011, which became a recognizance and peace bond that prohibited any contact with the victim.
In January, the victim became aware of the "senior lady looking for pleasuring" ads on Craigslist when "a gentleman showed up on my door saying he'd emailed me," she testified.
Kuban allegedly used three anonymous Craigslist email addresses, which were found in the history of his Library of Congress computer, and posted her address and photo, according to court documents.
She had a security gate and no-trespassing signs installed. Kuban allegedly would instruct the male suitors to ignore those. "They would climb the gate and walk up to my house," the victim testified. "One man drove through the gate." Between January and March 20, she said she was aware of over 50 Craiglist ads purporting to be her.
And, she told Judge Glen Conrad, she fears Kuban will have someone come over to her house and harm her. She also said Kuban had tried to commit suicide two times, and "he was very excited about killing animals" when hunting on her property.
When Reva resident Kuban was arrested in March, he made a statement to police, "I wanted to make her life a living hell," the prosecutor told the judge.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Beaton called Kuban a danger to the community, to himself and to the victim. "The type of person who'd respond to Craigslist is the type people would fear, especially a woman in her 50s or 60s," said Beaton, urging that Kuban continue to be held.
"The last two weeks, [the victim] has had a more peaceful life without men showing up at her house wanting sex," said Beaton. He also noted that Kuban had once been charged with assault against his wife, who "died in a car accident under mysterious circumstances."
Public defender Joel Hoppe countered that the assault charge had been nolle prossed and that Kuban had no criminal record and no history of violence.
"Drinking orange juice and milk out of the bottle are not threatening," said Hoppe. And the ads didn't direct people to go have sex with the victim or harm her, he said, but were more "false advertising."
While Kuban was busy allegedly posting fake sex ads on Craigslist, he had another girlfriend who appeared in court.
They've been dating six months, said Hoppe, and she was willing to house Kuban should he be released from jail, particularly since he was likely to lose his job and residence, according to the attorney.
Judge Conrad was not ready to release the alleged stalker. "That's pretty reckless behavior," said Conrad.
He was also disturbed that despite the peace bond forbidding contact with the victim, Kuban persisted. "Quite frankly, the defendant has demonstrated he does not adhere to court orders in the past," said Conrad. "That's the biggest concern."
The judge also wanted to see a bond larger than $20,000, underwritten by several people the defendant cares about.
"The court believes the seriousness of the charges and penalties encourages desperate acts," said Conrad. "The court finds it hard to overcome the statement the defendant made when being taken into custody."
Kuban, who was wearing striped jail garb, may come back before the judge with another bond presentation, said Conrad.