Suspect Previously Arrested In 2020 For Cyberstalking
SMITHFIELD – A former employee at Johnston Community College in Smithfield is accused of making sex-related online posts. The suspect reportedly accessed a JCC computer without authorization to make social media posts allegedly soliciting women to meet on or near the JCC campus for illicit activity. There was no evidence, however, any women responded to the posts.
Sherrill Ray Strickland Jr., 50, of River Road, Selma was arrested May 17th by Smithfield Police on four felony warrants charging him with accessing a government computer, the property of Johnston Community College, for the purpose of terrifying and harassing. The alleged incidents occurred on December 7, 2018, December 14, 2018, June 11, 2020 and June 20, 2020, according to the felony warrants.
Smithfield Police said they began their investigation after an out-of-state resident saw the online post and notified their agency. At the time of the alleged incidents, Strickland was an employee at JCC.
JCC confirmed Strickland was employed as a housekeeper/custodian from May 2005 to August 2020 at which time he resigned from his position following an internal investigation and just days after his first arrest by the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office for cyberstalking.
Prior Arrest For Cyberstalking
In July 2020, Mr. Strickland was arrested for allegedly using the college computer network to commit a cyberstalking crime against a 27 year-old woman. He is still awaiting trial on those charges.
On June 5, 2020, the female victim told sheriff’s detectives said she discovered someone had set up a fake internet dating site account using her real name and photograph. Her photograph had been copied from her personal Facebook page.
Strickland allegedly set up the fake dating site account using the computer network at Johnston Community College and uploaded pornographic images of women claiming the photos on the site were those of the female victim. The sexually explicit images were not those of the victim, rather other unknown women, authorities said. The fake profile also claimed the young woman was looking to meet men in the local area for sex.
Strickland allegedly shared detailed personal information about the woman to those who responded to the dating ad, including a description of the car she drove. In addition to allegedly setting up the fictitious dating account using the Johnston Community College computer network, Strickland used the internet at JCC to regularly check and update the fraudulent dating site account.
Strickland was arrested on July 23, 2020 on those charges and released on a $30,000 unsecured bond. Smithfield Police obtained their warrants against Strickland in August 2020 and April 2021 but could not locate him until May 17th, 2021 when they made the arrest. As of today (May 25th), Strickland was still being held in the Johnston County Jail on a $100,000 secured bond stemming from his latest arrest.
Johnston Community College declined to comment on the incident or arrest.