ANCHORAGE – A Kotzebue man was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Sharon L. Gleason to seven years in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release for cyberstalking two individuals who were carrying out their professional responsibilities to protect a child from abuse or neglect.
According to court documents, Louis Holger Eklund, 41, relentlessly stalked and threatened two victims and their family members for nearly three years causing them to fear being attacked in their homes and seriously harmed. The victims are an attorney with the Alaska Attorney General’s office and the then-President of the Native Village of Kotzebue. Following a report from the Alaska Office of Child Services that Eklund had abandoned his infant son, the victims followed their professional responsibilities initiating the Child in Need of Aid (CINA) proceedings. Since the CINA proceeding involved an Alaska Native child, the Native Village of Kotzebue became involved per the Indian Child Welfare Act.
Eklund caused extreme emotional distress to both victims through dozens of phone calls, voicemails and emails in an effort to intimidate their conduct in the proceedings and retaliate against the work they had already done. Even after his indictment and arrest and while trial was pending, Eklund made it clear that he believed his crimes were justified by the victims’ actions and that the laws did not apply to him. Eklund also has a criminal history and a pattern of violence, violating court orders and actively resisting law enforcement.
Eklund is the second person to recently be sentenced for terrorizing people working in child protection. In March, the U.S. District Court sentenced Peter Lee Norris, also known as Bjorn Erik Happaniemi, to nine years in prison for stalking and threatening an Office of Children’s Services case worker, her attorney and an FBI agent who investigated the case.
“The defendant’s incessant harassment and threats to both victims and their family members was terrifying,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Bryan Wilson, District of Alaska. “There is perhaps no higher calling than protecting children who may be in harm’s way. Stalking and threatening these individuals for carrying out their professional responsibilities is detestable and a criminal act for which we will always seek justice.”
“Using online tools to scare and disrupt their daily lives, the defendant tormented and caused substantial distress to both victims, who were merely fulfilling their professional responsibilities,” said Special Agent in Charge Antony Jung of the FBI Anchorage Field Office. “In Alaska, no one should feel unsafe in their own home, workplace or community, and the FBI will continue to hold accountable those who engage in such conduct.”
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) conducted the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonas Walker prosecuted the case.