News & Politics

“Cuddleman” James Johnson Sentenced to 15 Months in Prison for Cyberstalking

The 29-year-old pursued at least 11 women while posing as a US Marine on dating websites.

Twenty-nine-year-old James M. Johnson—a.k.a. “Cuddleman”—was sentenced to 15 months in prison Friday for posing as a Quantico, Virginia-based United States Marine on Internet dating websites and threatening women who refused to send him sexually explicit pictures.

Johnson, of Roxboro, North Carolina, used photographs of an actual uniformed Marine and a fake military history to create an online profile for “Shawn Davis,” a fictitious Marine who claimed to be stationed at Quantico, according to statement from the office of US Attorney Neil MacBride.

Assuming this identity on Internet dating websites, Johnson pursued at least 11 women in Virginia and the mid-Atlantic between July 2009 and October 2010, according to the US Attorney’s office.

After expressing romantic interest in these women, Johnson—who often used the screen name “Cuddleman”—tried to convince them to send him “nude or seductive photographs, or disrobe or engage in other sexual activity before an Internet camera,” according to the US Attorney’s office.

When they refused, Johnson threatened to kill or sexual assault the women, murder their children, or “post altered photographs on pornographic Internet websites,” according to the US Attorney’s office.

“In one instance, Johnson told a victim he would ‘slit [her] throat and send his friends to kill [her],’” according to the US Attorney’s office. “In another instance, Johnson spoke on the telephone with police who had been called to a victim’s house, and he threatened to ‘blow up’ the victim’s house if the police did not leave.”

In July, Johnson pleaded guilty to making interstate threats and cyberstalking charges.

Senior Writer

Luke Mullins is a senior writer at Washingtonian magazine focusing on the people and institutions that control the city’s levers of power. He has written about the Koch Brothers’ attempt to take over The Cato Institute, David Gregory’s ouster as moderator of NBC’s Meet the Press, the collapse of Washington’s Metro system, and the conflict that split apart the founders of Politico.