Many times, Hollywood mimics life and sometimes, life mimics Hollywood.
Remember the assassination attempt on President Reagan?
John Hinckley was obsessed with then-child actress Jodie Foster and sought to impress her by killing the president, influenced by the movie, “Taxi.”
Now, a modern-day example:
A film called “American Beauty” has now become a real-life drama playing out in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
“Madison Zezzo was just like any other girl her age, connecting with friends on social media.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t only her friends who were connecting with her — the father of the now-17-year-old’s best friend began messaging her as well.
Madison told ABC6 that the messaging started out as innocent:
‘He was my best friend’s dad.’
However, her mom, Erin Zezzo, told ABC6 that as time went on, the messages ‘escalated into a sexual nature.’
That’s when the Zezzo family alerted the police, and then-51-year-old Shane Holderer was arrested for the first time.
Holderer pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor stalking charge. He was sentenced to probation and counseling.
Having been reprimanded for his actions, Erin and Madison thought her nightmare would end there.”
But it didn’t.
A full three years later, Madison was alerted to a re-tweet and inspected it to find thousands of sexually explicit tweets about herself.
As it turns out, Holderer had been cyberstalking her for the past three years.
A sting operation was set up by police and they agreed to meet at a Starbucks where he was arrested. He was charged with cyberstalking but this is a mere misdemeanor; he was not charged for any sex crime.
This has sent Madison and her mother on a crusade to change Pennsylvania laws. They have begun a petition to do so.
She wrote on Facebook that the purpose of the petition is to not only change the law but also to help the family’s impact statements during the sentencing hearing:
‘This will be used two fold. First it will be used at sentencing as part of our impact statements and second it will be given to our legislators to show and gain support from the community to ensure we get these laws changed as quickly as possible.’”
A good lesson to parents: Be aware of what your children are doing online.