Midway man charged in wild stalking case

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 9 2013 2:44 p.m. MDT

An extreme case of stalking has led prosecutors to file seven felony charges against a Midway resident.

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OREM — An extreme case of stalking has led prosecutors to file seven felony charges against a Midway resident.

Kenneth Rhett Winward, 21, was charged Wednesday in 4th District Court with two counts of stalking, illegally accessing someone else's computer, and dealing in harmful materials to a minor, as well as three counts of distribution of pornography. All of the charges are third-degree felonies.

Starting in October 2012, prosecutors say Winward "engaged in a course of conduct directed at his former live-in girlfriend that alarmed and frightened her," according to court records.

Winward started showing up at the woman's classes at Utah Valley University, even though he was not enrolled there, according to court records. He later was able to gain access to her UVU computer account and completed her homework assignments, purposely submitting them with the wrong answers, according to prosecutors.

Winward "then emailed her that she would fail out of school unless she started listening to him," according to the charges.

He later began stalking the woman's sister and sent her one text saying he would "kill her family" and another text saying he would "drain her family's bank accounts," according to court records. In a text to the sister's boyfriend, Winward threatened to "hire an 'ex-con' to rape both women," the charges state.

Prosecutors say Winward also set up a website and posted nude pictures of his ex-girlfriend. He then sent a text to numerous people on the woman's phone contact list, sending them a link to the website, according to prosecutors. One of the people who received a copy of the link was a 13-year-old girl, according to prosecutors.

The woman filed a protective order against Winward on Oct. 15, 2012, according to court records.

Winward's initial appearance in court is set for Nov. 7.

Email: preavy@deseretnews.com, Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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