COUNTY — San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Dan Dow announced on Sept. 3 that David William Platek, 36, of Visalia — formerly of Atascadero, was charged with felony identity theft for impersonation of Kevin P. Rice of San Luis Obispo on Facebook. Platek is alleged to have used a fake account posing as Rice to publish false statements.
According to the District Attorney, Platek has been charged with two counts of felony identity theft and one related misdemeanor charge for unlawfully impersonating Rice on Facebook. Platek is alleged to have used a fake Facebook account that appeared identical to Rice’s account in order to publish false statements that were intended to damage Rice's reputation.
On Aug. 9, the District Attorney’s Office Public Integrity Unit filed three charges of identity theft against Platek and sought an arrest warrant. Later that day, a San Luis Obispo County Superior Court Judge signed and issued a warrant for Platek’s arrest.
“Widespread use of social media such as Facebook has increased the amount of identity theft on social media platforms,” said District Attorney Dan Dow. “It is important for the public to know that identity theft anywhere — even in the cyber world of social media — is a crime and will be prosecuted.”
These charges stem from an investigation into a Facebook posting that appeared on Aug. 9, 2018, by a fake ‘Kevin Rice’ Facebook account on a San Luis Obispo Tribune's Facebook post about convicted sex offender Brock Turner.
“Everyone should be protected from the harm caused by someone impersonating them with the intent to damage their reputation. This case is one of many that have been solved, at least in part, by using the capabilities of our Central Coast Cyber Forensic Laboratory that opened March 1, 2017,” said District Attorney Dan Dow.
The case was investigated by the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Michael Frye who is assigned to the District Attorney’s Public Integrity Unit.