Ex-boyfriend violates restraining order by “liking” Facebook posts

As one Pennsylvania man recently discovered, “liking” your ex-girlfriend’s photos and videos on Facebook is a bad idea — especially when that ex-girlfriend has a restraining order against you.

Earlier this week, 26-year-old Justin Bellanco logged on to Facebook and allegedly liked 22 of his ex-girlfriend’s photos and videos. We’ve all been there, right? However, Bellanco’s “likes” violated the no-contact restraining order that his ex-girlfriend, 24-year-old April Holland, had obtained.

Holland applied for a protection from abuse order against Bellanco on July 28. Her application claimed that he had been stalking and harassing her and her friends, and had even threatened to shoot her knee cap to watch her suffer. On Aug. 4, a Luzerne County judge granted Holland’s restraining order request, prohibiting Bellanco from having contact with his ex for one year. According to the Times Leader, Bellanco was arraigned on a contempt of court charge and released on $5,000 unsecured bail.

(The story has a few twists, as stories involving exes often do: In April 2014, Bellanco filed his own restraining order against Holland, alleging that she choked him during a domestic dispute as he escorted her from his residence. It expired in April of this year.)

We’ve all made regrettable decisions regarding our exes on social media, but most of them don’t involve an order of protection. Perhaps for Bellanco, a temporary ban from using Facebook should’ve been included in the terms of bail?  

Illustration by Max Fleishman

Kasia Pilat

Kasia Pilat

Kasia Pilat is a multimedia journalist who worked with the Daily Dot while completing her thesis project with New York University. She's also contributed to WNYC, the Guardian U.S., and Paste Magazine. In 2016, she was a finalist for the SXSW Interactive Innovation Award for her multimedia website What Is Home?.