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3News Investigates Exclusive: Serial cyberstalker targeted Northeast Ohio women

Andy Drabic, a freelance sports photographer for Cleveland area colleges, pleaded guilty to 11 counts of stalking, extortion and attempted exploitation of a child

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She still feels his words almost crawling under her skin. Something was always felt strange about Andy Drabic.

“Like his big thing that he always said would be like, you know, trust. It was always trust,” Becca Folta recalled.

“If you broke his trust or if you lied to him, he would not be quiet about it.”

Fresh out of high school, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Becca found herself pulled into a friendship with Drabic, a kind-faced, freelance photographer she met online while connecting with new friends preparing for college.

Drabic was older and not a student. Becca saw their relationship as a friendship.

Drabic saw it differently.

The difference came to a boil during Becca’s only visit to Drabic’s apartment, a night that remains seared into her memory.

She’d leave in tears, half-dressed.

“It was like just the first time that I was very scared and by myself, like I didn't have my mom,” she said. “I didn't tell my mom. like I was very quiet about all of it.”

But Drabic wasn’t quiet. Not with Becca.

Over the next several months, prosecutors say he made sure Becca felt his wrath, anonymously stalking and threatening her online. Police were unable to stop it.

“It was just a very difficult time and I did everything by myself,” she said. “I didn't want to tell anyone because I was embarrassed.

“You know, like this girl, she's stupid enough to go out with this guy. I was embarrassed and thinking back, I know I shouldn't have done.”

Becca soon learned she was far from alone.

Federal prosecutors say she’s among seven women targeted online by Drabic, now 32.

Details of his case are outlined in an 11-count indictment alleging cyberstalking, extortion and attempted sexual exploitation of a child.

The victims range in age from 13 to 33.

Drabic’s attorney, Edward Hartwig, declined comment.

But in a recorded statement with FBI agents in January, Drabic conceded many of the accusations. He later pleaded guilty to all 11 counts and is expected to be sentenced in November.

In the recorded interview, he blamed his action on a mental condition known as Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria.

“It’s a condition where if someone did something to hurt me, I would lash out at people,” Drabic told the agent.

Lashed out is what Drabic did, authorities allege. Unabated for nearly three years.

Using burner accounts, slipping inside his target’s social media accounts, leaving with their personal photos to taunt or threaten.

“Some, I gave to friends. But I don’t know what they did with them,” Drabic said of his victims’ pictures.

Revenge was often his only motive, he said.

“I was just trying to get people to feel the way they made me feel,” Drabic said.

In court papers, FBI agents released a series of messages Drabic sent in 2019 to a girl who was 13 years old when their online relationship began.

In the messages sent via Snapchat, Drabic encouraged the girl to send nude photos of herself and to perform sex acts.

“Can your mom see your phone?,” Drabic asked the girl.

She replied, “No why?”

Drabic then sent a picture of his genitals.

“That’s why lol," he messaged the girl.

In his interview, FBI agents asked about Becca Folta.

“She lied to me,” he said. “I just wanted her to experience a little of what she caused me…I wanted her to feel pain…like I did.”

Drabic, whose freelance photography was used by many colleges and universities in Northeast Ohio, is jailed awaiting sentencing. His Facebook page is filled with the pictures of the female athletes playing soccer and softball.

His sentencing plea agreement remains under seal, so it is unclear how long Drabic will serve.

But prison bars do little to ease Becca’s fears, for herself and the six other women.

“I'm just scared that he's gonna get out and then find all of us,” she said.

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