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Man facing 14 counts of stalking girls

October 21, 2018 GMT

A Fort Wayne man used Facebook to find and stalk girls at gymnastics practice.

Other times, Brad S. Stoffer, 48, would open the phone book, call a number and ask to speak with the daughter of whoever answered, police say.

It’s a pattern that started in 2011, leaving the children and their parents in constant fear, according to court documents filed Friday in Allen Superior Court.

One family bought a gun in case the man who called himself Mike on the phone showed up at the house.

Another family installed an expensive security system.

Parents of a girl allegedly contacted by Stoffer in 2016 said their church took installed cameras in a hallway.

“You as parents are there to protect your kids, and this just takes it out of your hands,” the mother of one of the girls told a Fort Wayne detective Oct. 7, according to a probable cause affidavit. “I’m fearful myself and I can’t let her know that. My husband, he’s angry. I think it just took her innocence away, and I’m angry about that.”

Stoffer, of the 7000 block of Lismore Lane, is charged with 14 counts of felony stalking. He is being held at the Allen County Jail on $350,000 bond, court records said.

Police say he made many of the calls to girls from a gas station pay phone. Stoffer also drove to a gym where the girls practiced and watched them through windows, the affidavit said.

Detectives sought a search warrant in September for his Facebook page and found searches for the girls, according to court documents. He searched for some more than 50 times, police said.  

In phone calls, Stoffer said his name was Mike or “Coach Mike,” investigators said. He allegedly told one girl in 2013 he had seen pictures of her and kept repeating that she looked nice in her leotard. Police traced the phone calls to a gas station and set up a camera, which captured Stoffer and his 2005 Honda Accord, the affidavit said. Police said they also caught him looking in windows at the gym.

Interviewed by detectives Thursday, Stoffer allegedly confessed.

“You think you’re only doing it a little bit, but over the years I guess it’s a lot,” he said, according to the affidavit.

Investigators said Stoffer wrote an apology to the victims.

mleblanc@jg.net