An escalating pattern of threats and harassment

It turns out that Martin Shkreli isn’t just the kind of asshole who buys the rights to patented meds in order to inflate the price by 5000%, he’s also the kind of asshole who harasses and threatens women in public.

Martin Shkreli, the former hedge fund manager awaiting sentencing for defrauding his investors, should have his bail revoked after offering his Facebook followers $5,000 to grab a strand of Hillary Clinton’s hair during her book tour, federal prosecutors say.

I saw that yesterday, via Twitter. I wanted to post about it but decided it might look too trivial or random. But the Secret Service doesn’t think so and the Post doesn’t think so, so ok then.

Shkreli’s conduct since his conviction in early August has escalated and he poses a threat to the community, the prosecutors said in a letter to the judge late Thursday. In addition to his Facebook post concerning Hillary Clinton, which drew the attention of the Secret Service, he has made harassing comments to other women online, they said.

“Shkreli has engaged in an escalating pattern of threats and harassment that warrant his detention pending sentencing,” prosecutors said in their letter to the judge in the case. “The Court should further find that there is no condition or combination of conditions to which the defendant will abide that will ensure that he does not pose a danger to the community.”

Interesting, isn’t it. We’re always being told that online harassment of women is just joking, just bants, just trolls, just free speech…but when it’s a convicted criminal doing it, finally people can grasp that it actually does pose a danger.

As a result of Shkreli’s Facebook post on Clinton, the Secret Service has “expended significant resources additional resources to ensure Secretary Clinton’s protection,” the letter said. “There is a significant risk that one of his many social media followers or others who learn of his offers through the media will take his statements seriously — as has happened previously — and act on them.”

Shkreli later amended his post on Clinton to say that the offer was “satire.” But prosecutors note that Shkreli’s apparent animus toward Clinton includes standing outside her daughter Chelsea’s home when Clinton was reportedly there recuperating after falling sick. Shkreli “spent approximately two hours live-streaming while providing commentary and heckling Secretary Clinton,” they said.

Is that “satire”? No it is not.

“However inappropriate some of Mr Shkreli’s postings may have been, we do not believe that he intended harm and do not believe that he poses a danger to the community,” Shkreli’s attorney, Benjamin Brafman, said in a statement.

But that doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter what Shkreli’s attorney “believes.” What matters is the reality: that he put the offer out there, that there are millions of people who have been trained for decades to feel frothing hatred for Hillary Clinton, that there are people who act on their feelings of frothing hatred for public figures, especially political ones, and that violent hatred of women is in fashion.

Shkreli, 34, is best known for raising the price of an AIDS drug by 5,000 percent but was convicted by a Brooklyn jury of defrauding the investors’ in his hedge funds. Shkreli lied to obtain investors’ money then didn’t tell them when he made a bad stock bet that led to massive losses, prosecutors argued…

Since his conviction the loquacious executive has kept an active — and combative — online presence. In addition to asking for someone to grab a strand of Clinton’s hair, he has bought the domain names of reporters’ covering his case and promised to “smack” comic Trevor Noah if he ever saw him on the street.

He was busily doing all this and more on Facebook yesterday. Doesn’t violate Facebook’s famous “community standards,” I guess.

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