Accused Austin stalker was allegedly after Billy Joel’s daughter

Published 1:21 pm Monday, April 15, 2013

An Austin woman charged for using a fictitious Facebook account to threaten and harass a New York woman was allegedly badgering singer Billy Joel’s daughter, according to the New York Post.

Sheryl Denise Finley, 40, allegedly stalked 27-year-old songwriter Alexa Ray Joel over the Internet, and Finley was later allegedly caught naked in the Minnesota woods by private investigators, the New York Post said. Finley pleaded not guilty in Mower County Court in January to felony stalking for electronic messages sent by false impersonation and gross misdemeanor stalking for repeated messages.

Investigators accused Finley of creating a Facebook account under the alias “Rick Steenfield” to the send threatening messages. The court complaint says the victim hired an Internet security firm to investigate Finley, which led local investigators to her login times at the Austin Public Library and Riverland Community College. The New York Post reported Billy Joel hired Paul McCartney’s best private eye to track down Finley. Investigators found her in Austin.

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The court complaint adds Finley sent messages to the victim from her own Facebook account and threatening messages from the fake account from the same IP address, sometimes within minutes.

When told about this, Finley admitted she sent the messages, according to the complaint. The investigator told Finley she could not send any more messages to the victim. One hour after the interview, however, Finley reportedly logged into her account and sent another message to the victim.

Finley has a pretrial set for May 3 in Mower County Court.

A representative for Alexa Ray and Billy Joel declined to comment, the New York Post said.