Female medical students at the University of Miami never thought that the innocent pictures they uploaded to Facebook would find their way onto fetish websites. But when two of them learned where their pictures went, several looked to a fellow classmate who is well-known for his creepy behavior in the past.
Alex Zhang, 25, was already on the radar after a fellow student complained about his behavior to the university multiple times, first beginning in December 2015. He reportedly took pictures of her in a bar without her permission and engaged in “repeated acts of stalking and harassment.” He was finally ordered to stay away from her after she filed a sexual harassment claim against him in April 2016. She also requested a restraining order against him.
Two female students complained after finding their pictures on websites that allowed online visitors to fetishize everyday women in “creep shots.” The captions associated with the pictures were also sexually suggestive, though some were said to appear to threaten rape, and identified the women by name.
Court documents also revealed that Zhang harassed at least one of the victims “via text message, Facebook message and Snapchat.” The victim recalled that Zhang once showed up to the library and tried to sit with her after she uploaded a picture on Snapchat from the location. She blocked him from her social media accounts soon after.
He would also reportedly offered to “buy students drinks and offered money” at a bar in exchange for a glance at the woman’s pictures on Facebook. About a month later, he was allegedly seen taking pictures of her while she attended a party in the same bar.
The women filed restraining orders against Zhang, the marks of his past behavior doing very little to shield him from blame. One of the victims also noticed that some of the pictures uploaded to the websites were the ones taken by Zhang without her permission.
Zhang was suspended pending an internal investigation.
The school said in a statement, “It is also our commitment to thoroughly investigate and adjudicate any allegations of inappropriate behavior among our students, while at the same time providing a safe atmosphere as an inquiry moves forward.”