PAXTON — A Paxton man remained jailed Thursday afternoon on a $100,000 bond after being charged with cyberstalking in Ford County Circuit Court.
Michael L. Widmer, 46, was charged Wednesday with two counts of cyberstalking, a Class 4 felony, for allegedly posting messages on the Internet that were directed toward a Paxton woman who he had previously been ordered to have no contact with.
According to court documents filed by Ed Parkinson, a court-appointed special prosecutor for Ford County, the messages were posted on Facebook on Jan. 27 and on "at least two other occasions in January and February" while Widmer was under special conditions of bail in a pending case involving the same woman.
Parkinson said in court documents that Widmer's online postings contained statements that would cause a "reasonable person" to fear for his or her safety.
Widmer was arrested on a warrant Wednesday and remained Thursday at the Ford County Jail on a $100,000 bond, meaning he must pay $10,000 to be released.
A preliminary hearing was set for 1:30 p.m. Feb. 28.
The cyberstalking charge is punishable by three to six years in prison under extended-term sentencing guidelines.
Widmer is awaiting an April trial date for allegedly threatening the same woman in a separate criminal case. In that case, Widmer was charged with one count each of intimidation and unlawful communication with a witness, both Class 3 felonies. The charges stem from accusations that Widmer threatened to harm the woman, after she told police in May 2010 that she saw Widmer driving his truck while his license was revoked. Widmer posted $25,000 cash to be released from jail last summer.
Charges are also pending against Widmer for driving on a revoked license in Ford County.
Meanwhile, in Iroquois County, a petition has been filed by State's Attorney Jim Devine seeking to revoke the conditional discharge Widmer received after pleading guilty in 2010 to obstructing justice and fleeing police in that county. If Widmer's probation is revoked, Widmer could be resentenced in Iroquois County Circuit Court.