A Minneapolis is facing several felony charges in connection to stalking, harassing and threatening a former Mankato State University classmate for several years after she declined his romantic advances, according to a criminal complaint filed in Blue Earth County this week.
The charges state that Jeffrey Colin Purdy, 28, engaged in repeated stalking, harassment and threats that included making numerous false reports against the victim through MSU’s anonymous reporting system, sending her harassing emails and texts, sending her long letters and waiting in the lobby of her building for hours.
The victim told police that as far back as March 2015 she blocked Purdy from her phone and social media accounts after she began to feel afraid of him. The victim was granted a restraining order in April 2017 and the order was renewed for two more years in Oct. 2019.
The complaint states that MSU has an online tool called “silent witness reports” that allows students to anonymously report incidents to the college. In June 2016, the college began to receive silent witness reports falsely claiming that the victim was causing trouble in the dorms, and that since that time the communications began to slowly escalate into more frequent and more violent threats against the victim.
The victim reported that in April 2019 she received a graphic text threatening that she would be raped within two weeks, and it also said, “look forward to getting together.”
In Nov. 2019 the Mankato Dept. of Public Safety requested help from the FBI in the investigation.
The complaint detailed that at the end of November another anonymous silent witness report was made through MSU’s reporting system which graphically described that the victim would be “raped repetitively.” Unlike the other anonymous reports, this message was not masked, and the IP address was able to be extracted by the college’s information technology department. Within minutes after the message was sent, someone used the same IP address to access an account belonging to Purdy.
The silent witness reports continued from anonymous authors, including a report from February 11, 2020, which contained a rambling message with violent threats and was phrased to appear as if it was trying to frame Purdy as the stalker.
The anonymous reports threatened to kidnap the woman and frame Purdy, and one message said that the victim “is a slave waiting for an owner.”
On Feb. 29, Purdy was interviewed by an FBI agent and a commander with the Mankato Dept. of Public Safety. He was advised of his rights and agreed to speak without an attorney present. Purdy admitted that he was the person responsible for sending the silent witness reports, anonymous texts and 311 reports.
Purdy, whose address is listed on the 1300 block of West Lake Street in Minneapolis, has been charged with three felony counts of stalking, harassment and threats of violence. The complaint states that the maximum penalty if convicted is up to 10 years on the stalking count and up to 5 years on each of the other two counts.
Records indicate that Purdy is being held on $200,000 bai and is scheduled to make his next court appearance in Blue Earth County court on March 12.
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