UF football staffer arrested on cyberstalking charges

Otis Yelvertin, the Florida Gators assistant director of player personnel was arrested by the Alachua County Sheriff’s office Monday on a third degree felony charge for aggravated stalking.

Yelverton was placed on leave by the University Athletic Association following the charges.

Per Alachua County’s arrest report Yelverton, 51, harassed a woman whom he had been previously dating for over a year after the two broke up on April 14. The report states that Yelverton made calls, texts, voicemails and sent Facebook messages to the alleged victim more than 40 times and that he “used multiple vulgarities and demeaning language which placed the victim in a continuous state of fear that violence was going to take place.” One example is an alleged voicemail where Yelverton reportedly threatened to “blow up” the alleged victim’s car in a voice mail.

The alleged victim stated she had previously filed a report with the ACSO stating she wanted Yelverton to cease and desist communicating with her. On April 21st she alleges that Yelverton left her a voicemail stating he would “blow up” her car and that is when she again contacted ACSO stating she was in fear that Yelverton would cause her physical harm.

In the state of Florida cyberstalking is defined as: “to engage in a course of conduct to communicate, or to cause to be communicated, words, images, or language by or through the use of electronic mail or electronic communication, directed at a specific person, causing substantial emotional distress to that person and serving no legitimate purpose.” [Florida Statute §784.048 (1)(d)]. A third degree felony for aggravated cyberstalking in Florida is punishable by up to five years in prison and up to a $5,000 fine.

Mullen and Florida’s swift action here should be noted given what happened last year at Ohio State. After years of known reports of domestic abuse by a staffer, Urban Meyer finally fired Zach Smith after reporter Brett McMurphy was able to uncover instances and police reports where Smith allegedly abused or threatened his then wife. The instances of this occurring dated all the way back to when Meyer was in Gainesville and Mullen and Smith were both on staff. Mullen and Florida took a hard stance, placing Yelverton on leave immediately following the charges.

Here is a link to the statutes that are applicable to this case.

**UPDATE: 12:50**
Otis Yelverton was released on his own recognizance (ROR). The conditions of that release are that he have no contact (direct or indirect) with the accuser and delete her from any apps/social media.

One attorney told me that this is highly unusual for a 3rd degree felony charge.

Gator Country will have more on this developing story.

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Nick de la Torre
A South Florida native, Nick developed a passion for all things sports at a very young age. His love for baseball was solidified when he saw Al Leiter’s no-hitter for the Marlins live in May of 1996. He was able to play baseball in college but quickly realized there isn’t much of a market for short, slow outfielders that hit around the Mendoza line. Wanting to continue with sports in some capacity he studied journalism at the University of Central Florida. Nick got his first start in the business as an intern for a website covering all things related to the NFL draft before spending two seasons covering the Florida football team at Bleacher Report. That job led him to GatorCountry. When he isn’t covering Gator sports, Nick enjoys hitting way too many shots on the golf course, attempting to keep up with his favorite t.v. shows and watching the Heat, Dolphins and Marlins. Follow him on twitter @NickdelatorreGC