A Lackawanna County woman could be facing a new investigation after she allegedly struck a television reporter with her purse Tuesday outside a magistrate’s office in Hanover Township.
Julie Ottaviani, 54, of Blakely, appeared at the office of District Judge Joseph Halesey in connection with charges she hacked into her ex-husband’s email and posted nude pictures of his girlfriend on Facebook.
Ottaviani was charged last month with two counts of dissemination of sexually explicit material to a minor, and one count each of corruption of minors and criminal use of communication facility. According to court documents, the dissemination counts have been withdrawn and the other charges were waived up to Luzerne County Court.
But a video posted by WNEP-TV appears to show Ottaviani grabbing at reporter Bill Wadell’s microphone, then walking away before swinging her purse and striking Wadell in the face with the bag.
According to a WNEP-TV report, Hanover Township police are investigating the incident. Efforts to reach township police later Tuesday were unsuccessful.
According to a criminal complaint filed in the original case, Gary Ottaviani reported someone hacked into his Yahoo email account from Jan. 14 to Jan. 17 and copied two nude images of his girlfriend he took with a cellphone.
Investigators said the photos were posted on the Facebook homepage of an account, under the name of Chris Richardson, which Julie Ottaviani later admitted creating.
On Jan. 18, the girlfriend’s son received a friend request from the account, investigators said, and saw the photos. The boy then alerted his mother, the complaint says.
Investigators said in the complaint that Julie Ottaviani stated “I wanted to get her fired,” meaning the girlfriend, and sent the nude pictures to the girlfriend’s son because “I wanted her kid to hurt as much as mine,” the complaint says.
Following her arrest in February, Ottaviani was released on $10,000 unsecured bail after she was arraigned by District Judge James Tupper in Kingston Township.
Her formal arraignment is scheduled for 9 a.m. June 6 in Luzerne County Court, according to court documents.