A 26-year-old man from Neptune Township charged with stalking multiple women on social media was released from Monmouth County Jail this week on time served and good behavior, authorities said.
Wayde M. Delhagen of Wayside Road pleaded guilty on Jan. 28 to burglary and four counts of stalking, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni said in a statement. Delhagen had been locked up in the Freehold jail since his arrest last June, authorities said.
Delhagen's charges stem from an investigation launched last year after he harassed multiple women through social media, ultimately breaking into the township home of two victims, the prosecutor said.
Delhagen originally was sentenced to 364 days in jail followed by five years of probation, but was released after serving less than 11 months. He is subject to a final restraining order prohibiting him from contacting all victims in the case and barring his return to Wayside Road in Neptune Township, Gramiccioni said.
On Monday, Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Ellen Torregrossa-O’Connor sentenced Delhagen to 364 days in the Monmouth County Correctional Institution in Freehold Township, followed by five years of probation upon his release.
Delhagen’s arrest was the result of joint investigations by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, and Neptune City and Neptune Township police departments.
During his plea, Delhagen admitted to breaking into the home of two women, an 18-year-old girl and her mother, at 3 a.m. on June 15, 2019, Gramiccioni said. Delhagen broke into the girl’s bedroom through a window, while her mother and the girl sleeping in another part of the home, he said.
During a search of the surrounding area, Neptune Township police officers found Delhagen in front of a nearby home. He was found in possession of a bathing suit top and a bra taken from a laundry basket located under the bedroom window and belonging to the 18-year-old victim, the prosecutor said.
Delhagen came in contact with the 18-year-old girl several months earlier through social media, Gramiccioni said.
"That contact morphed into harassment after the victim rejected Delhagen’s efforts to set up a meeting for the two, forcing the victim to cut off any communication between them,'' the prosecutor said.
Last May, Delhagen contacted the victim using a different social media platform, stating that he was coming over to the victim’s house and inquiring if the victim’s mother was home, Gramiccioni said.
Delhagen then sent the girl a series of sexually-charged messages and disturbing images, including a screenshot of an online image of the victim’s residence, directly identifying her bedroom window, the prosecutor said. After Delhagen was again rejected by the teenage victim, Delhagen sent harassing messages to the girl’s mother, Gramiccioni said.
He also sent a series of harassing messages via social media to a separate set of victims in Neptune City, the prosecutor said. In that case, Delhagen utilized social media accounts to repeatedly send threatening, sexually-charged messages and sexually-explicit materials over the course of several months to another young female victim and her mother, Gramiccioni said. Delhagen previously was convicted of harassing the same young woman in a similar manner in 2018, Gramiccioni said.
The case was handled by Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutors Joshua Carmel and William Visone. Delhagen is represented by attorney Shane S. Paugh of Middletown.
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