Joshua Keyes, 45, of Winchester, Ohio. Initial appearance March 8, 2023: Stalking, forgery, misappropriate ID info to obtain money, violate a harassment restraining order, threaten injury or harm via computer message, disorderly conduct, bail jumping

By Shereen Siewert

A judge this week in Wausau set bond at $40,000 cash for a man accused of stalking a former partner, trying to change her direct deposit information and impersonating an attorney in an attempt to discredit her.

On Feb. 9, 2023 prosecutors filed 17 criminal charges against 45-year-old Joshua B. Keyes, who now lists a Canal Winchester, Ohio address but previously lived in Wausau. A warrant was issued for his arrest and he was transported to the Marathon County Jail from Fairfield County, Ohio, on Tuesday to make a formal appearance.

Police say Keyes contacted his former partner’s workplace with fake complaints and emails regarding her mental health, posted fake reviews about her performance at work and attempted to hijack her direct deposit information. He also allegedly posed as an attorney when he contacted a local TV reporter with false information alleging his former partner, who works in the medical field, regularly violated federal ethics and privacy rules.

Then, police say, Keyes created another fake email account posing as his former girlfriend and made threats to the reporter he contacted while pretending to be an attorney.

Keyes also appears to have engineered email exchanges with the “attorney” in which he asks that his former girlfriend be left alone. Keyes, posing as the “attorney,” writes back saying “as part of my attorney duties I must investigate and find the truth.” In another email, the “attorney” says he is sorry, and that Keyes “deserved so much better” after a restraining order that was done “unjustly and without warrant.”

Then, when a Wausau Police officer left a voicemail for Keyes cautioning him to cease and desist contact, Keyes emailed the officer, pretending to be his former partner.

Investigators traced the fake email accounts to Keyes.

In an earlier investigation, detectives investigated Keyes for using his former girlfriend’s financial information to buy items on the internet without her knowledge, court records show.

Keyes, who faces charges of stalking, forgery, violating a harassment restraining order, making threats through a computer message, disorderly conduct and bail jumping, remains behind bars as of Thursday afternoon. A preliminary hearing is set for March 15.