UPDATE: Eau Claire (WQOW) - The man behind a former fake news site in Eau Claire has reached a plea bargain with prosecutors.
Cheyenne Erdman, a registered sex offender, was charged for using fake names on social media.
Police said Erdman admitted to using aliases on-line, and running the Eau Claire TMZ page, in violation of sex offender registry rules.
He pleaded guilty Thursday, but if he obeys all laws for two years he won't be sentenced. During that time he will be allowed to use Facebook and social media sites, but can't use aliases. He must also pay about $500 in court costs.
June 29, 2017
Eau Claire (WQOW) - The founder of the Eau Claire TMZ social media pages returned to court on Wednesday.
Cheyenne Erdman, a lifetime registered sex offender, was charged after using fake names on social media -- in violation of his sex offender registry rules. Bond remains at $50,000, but it was amended Wednesday to allow Erdman to have access to an email account.
Erdman is scheduled to return to court October 19 for a status conference.
If convicted on the felony count, Erdman faces up to six years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Posted: June 29, 2017
Eau Claire (WQOW) - The man behind the former Eau Claire TMZ Facebook page was in court Thursday morning after police arrested him for operating several social media accounts under fake names, which is illegal, because he's a registered sex offender.
According to the criminal complaint, someone called the Eau Claire Police Department in early June and reported that 42-year-old Cheyenne Erdman, a lifetime registered sex offender, was using fake names on social media.
Police said Erdman admitted to having a personal Facebook account under the name "Monneey Matthew”.
They said he also admitted to running the "Eau Claire TMZ" Facebook page and told them he created a third account under the name "Bethany Mae Luivell" because he said he was receiving threats on his TMZ page and wanted to monitor the threats.
He did not report any of the accounts to authorities, and because two of them were under fake names, police said Erdman was in violation of his sex offender registration rules.
The Eau Claire Police Department told News 18 that after they announced Erdman's arrest on Facebook on Wednesday, they were contacted by someone else looking to report another sex offender's social media activity. They're investigating that claim now but said the rules and regulations of internet use vary from person to person on the sex offender registry.
Still, they said if you're not sure if someone is within their rights online, it's best to call the police.
"We need to know who is operating behind those names on Facebook and to keep our kids, specifically, safe and other community members safe,” said Bridget Coit, a public information officer for the Eau Claire Police Department. “We encourage the reporting, and we don't know about it often times, unless our community partners, which are our citizens, help us out."
Erdman was released on a $5,000 signature bond and ordered to avoid social media. He is expected to return to court in August.
He faces up to six years in prison and a $10,000 fine.