Newark – Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced today that a Hudson County grand jury has returned a 13-count indictment charging John Coulouris, 18, of Hackensack with making threats on social media last fall, including a threat to Livingston High School that resulted in the shutdown of the school.
The case was moved from Essex County, where the crimes allegedly occurred to Hudson County, because Coulouris is charged with threatening to send a bomb to the home of a Superior Court Judge in Essex County.
Assistant Prosecutor Joseph A. Giordano, who is handling the case, said Coulouris is accused of sending nude photographs of a 16-year-old ex-girlfriend, who lived in Livingston, on social media and cyber-harassment for threats against his ex-girlfriend and her family.
Coulouris is also accused of impersonating the ex-girlfriend, her family and a Livingston Police detective as part of an effort to thwart the investigation.
“The perceived anonymity of the Internet does not mean that our criminal laws will not be enforced,” said Assistant Prosecutor Giordano. “With the assistance of Livingston Police and the FBI, our Special Victims and F.A.C.T.S. units we were able to gather the necessary evidence.”
The indictment further alleges that he falsely threatened to bring a deadly weapon to Livingston High School and kill students on two separate dates.
He allegedly made threats against various members of law enforcement.
The harassment and threats started in September 2016 and continued until December 2016.
The case is novel in that some of the charges fall under the newly enhanced “swatting law” which allows law enforcement to bring second degree offenses when individuals make threats that are likely to result in SWAT Teams responding to the home of a victim or an alleged perpetrator. Under the old law, such offenses were 3rd degree crimes.
Court proceedings involving this case will be held in Hudson County.
Coulouris is currently being held on $400,000 cash only bail.
These are accusations.
All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until they enter a guilty plea or are found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.