University of Central Florida Assistant Professor Ali Borji, 39, is criminally charged over what police say was a pattern of stalking that included over 800 text messages a day to a female student. He was arrested on campus at this office on June 28th. UCF says that he resigned earlier from the Department of Computer Science.
The alleged stalking continued for months during the Fall 2017 and Spring 2018 semesters. The messages reportedly included such messages as “you should be happy that somebody likes you this much to stalk you,” and “you think I am sick and I may be! But I still love you.”
Police said Borji found the victim through Facebook in fall 2017 and began messaging her, offering her help with her degree program. After meeting a few times, Borji asked the victim on a date and she agreed, according to police. Officers said after a few dates, when the victim decided the relationship should remain strictly professional, Borji began stalking her.
The student said that she left the school to get away from Borji, but that he continued to stalk her, including allegedly watching her at her gym. Police say he told the student that he could create an artificial-intelligence facsimile of her and “do anything he wanted.”
The student tod him to leave her alone and tried to block him on social media but he then allegedly switched to email.
The case is a classic account of stalking where the woman was afraid to leave her home.
Police say that, when confronted with this information, Borji insisted that “in his culture [it] was acceptable” to continue talking to the victim after she asked him to stop.
We have previously discussed the “cultural defense” where defendants claim that a cultural norm is a defense to a criminal or civil allegation.
Borji is only facing two misdemeanors for this alleged stalking.
According to his professional page, he has previously taught at both University of Central Florida, University of Illinois at Chicago, and University of Wisconsin (Madison).