Nashville man sentenced for stalking, harassing individuals online

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Published: Jul. 30, 2022 at 1:32 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - A Nashville man was sentenced to three years in federal prison for using social media platforms to threaten, harass, and stalk multiple victims.

United States Attorney Mark H. Wildasin said 55-year-old Barry Zarculia was initially arrested in November 2020 and was later indicted by a federal grand jury on three counts of cyberstalking. He then pleaded guilty to the charges in November 2021.

Documents from an investigation orchestrated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation reportedly determined that Zarchulia used a cellular phone and an Instagram account to send death threats, threaten serious bodily harm, and/or harass, intimidate, and stalk multiple victims.

Zarculia was reportedly the user of the Instagram account @songs_in_the_key_of_z and posted hateful, racist, anti-black messages on its public message board, such as messages including the phrasing “black lives don’t matter.” Officials also said an individual referenced having observed posts that applauded the sniper who conducted the 2017 Las Vegas massacre and alluded to the fact that the user wished the same attack would occur in Nashville.

After posting these and other comments, Zarculia received negative feedback from other social media users. Zarculia soon after posted a photo of one individual’s house, along with the address of the individual’s public page, and said, “Anyone that wants a piece of me come on over,...Off Nolensville Pike. I sleep in the front bedroom.”

Authorities said this post alarmed the individual due to the front bedroom being occupied by his child. Zarculia also sent other messages to this individual, called him on the phone, and threatened to put a gun in his mouth.

After furthering the investigation, agents found another victim who began receiving unsolicited messages from Zarculia in September 2019 over Instagram. Although this woman had never met Zarculia, his messages referenced her recent locations around Nashville, including a local coffee shop and a local park.

Over the next few months, Zarculia reportedly continued to send this woman messages, which she described as “creepy” and “overly sexual” in nature, often sending her photos of his penis. On one occasion, Zarculia referred to the woman’s minor son and specifically mentioned the elementary school he attended, though the woman had never mentioned her son to Zarculia.

Court documents said the women eventually stopped responding to Zarculia’s messages, and in early 2020, Zarculia approached her in a local grocery store. She did not engage in conversation with him and went about her business. Later, he sent her angry messages. The messages then continued to escalate to violent and threatening rants, some sent in audio format and directed at a friend of a woman who had become involved out of fear for the woman’s safety.

Officials added that another woman began receiving unsolicited Instagram messages from Zarculia in July 2020. The messages also began escalating to harassing and threatening text and audio messages. On many occasions, Zarculia reportedly referenced her location, making it apparent that he had followed her and knew where she had been and where she lived.

In October, out of fear for her safety, the woman obtained a temporary order of protection against Zarculia. The following day, while hiking at a local park, the woman saw Zarculia from a distance. She then hid in a large bush and sought the assistance of a park ranger to escort her to her vehicle when Zarculia began yelling at her.

Each of these victims was forced to take additional security measures, including installing or updating their home alarm systems, or even moving from their home, to mitigate the threat posed by Zarculia.

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