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Florida lawmaker suspected of stalking US attorney

MIAMI -- The text messages, described as creepy and disturbing, originated from a Yahoo! screen name "itsjustme24680," and were sent to a married, assistant U.S attorney, Marlene Fernandez-Karavetsos.

She was able to save some of the messages on her phone to show investigators, court records say. The series of messages began with this conversation:

itsjustme24680: sexxxxy mama? :)

Fernandez-Karavetsos: How do i know you?

itsjustme24680: Hi...sorry, I missed you... what's up?

Fernandez-Karavetsos: who is this?

itsjustme24680: you dont remember?

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The U.S. Secret Service traced the screen name to Florida House Representative Richard Steinberg of Miami Beach. The 39-year-old lawyer, who is married with a daughter, is now under investigation, suspected of stalking Fernandez-Karavetsos, according to a search warrant filed in January in Miami-Dade Circuit Court.

According to the search warrant affidavit, she told investigators that she knows Steinberg "in a professional, non-intimate way," and that the messages caused her "substantial emotional distress."

Neither she nor Steinberg could be reached for comment about the series of text messages that were sent between August and October 2011.

Another conversation reads:

itsjustme24680: Good morning!

Fernandez-Karavetsos replies, "Leave me alone."

itsjustme24680: is that a way to treat a friend? lol
itsjustme24680: how's motherhood?
itsjustme24680: getting any sleep?
itsjustme24680: Georgie doing well?

This is the last time I'm going to ask, you've been texting long enough - who is this?

itsjustme24680: considering we're both married parents, probably best I not answer that at this point...

itsjustme24680: Marlene?

Miami Beach Detectives have now requested access from Yahoo! to email messages from Steinberg's account. The investigation is ongoing.

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