Oak Park resident Kevin Cruz faces federal charges for harassing and cyberstalking a man he matched with on Grindr. The 32-year-old ex-nurse is accused of using the victim’s photos to set up online dating profiles purporting to be the victim, which he used to send hundreds of men seeking sex to the victim’s house and his parents’ house. Some of the men are alleged to be ex-felons.
According to the indictment, Cruz directed the men sent to the victim’s home to enter without knocking and, if the victim protested against their sexual advances, it was “role playing” and the men should continue trying. Cruz is also alleged to have sent nude pictures of the victim to the victim’s family and employer, as well as posting them on the internet. He reportedly sent pornographic videos to the victim’s mother and led her to believe that her son had died by suicide.
Cruz has been charged with sending electronic communications with the intent to harass and intimidate. The FBI raided Cruz’s home on the 500 block of South Kenilworth Avenue, May 16, spending two hours in the house, according to a witness. He was denied bond on May 17.
A motion supporting his detainment listed Cruz’s lengthy criminal history. In 2017, he was arrested in Wisconsin by the Dane County Sheriff’s Office and charged with misappropriating identity information and unlawful use of computerized communications systems. He was also served with a two-year restraining order filed by another victim, who alleged Cruz had conducted a “multi-year harassment” campaign that extended to the victim’s family and the victim’s girlfriend, as well as her family. Court documents state Cruz violated the order.
A Freedom of Information Act request filed by Wednesday Journal found that Cruz has faced domestic violence accusations in the past. Cruz also lost his nursing job with the Rush University Medical Center in April 2022, after an internal and independent investigation found Cruz had violated the hospital system’s policy against discrimination, sexual misconduct and harassment. The indictment states Cruz’s harassment extended to the investigator and Cruz’s former colleague.
Cruz first met the victim referenced in the indictment in August 2021. Both lived in Oak Park at the time. The harassment campaign began after the victim told Cruz he was not interested in pursuing a more serious relationship and tried to cut off communication. The indictment states Cruz sent “thousands” of text messages from false phone numbers to the victim and the victim’s family and friends, as well as sending nude photos of the victim that the victim had previously shared with Cruz.
He reportedly ramped up the harassment by creating online dating profiles of the victim on such sites as Grindr, Double List, Scruff and Sniffies; 42 user accounts impersonating the victim were identified, which Cruz used to arrange meetings for sex or sexual favors with men who believed they were speaking to the victim. This resulted in hundreds of men showing up at the victim’s Oak Park apartment between December 2021 and April 2021. At times, multiple men showed up on the same day.
The harassment led the victim to relocate to his parents’ home in another Chicago suburb. However, the harassment continued after the move, with Cruz allegedly sending hundreds of men to the victim’s new location between April 2021 and February 2023. A Cook County Circuit Court judge granted a restraining order against Cruz in July 2022, but Cruz reportedly continued to harass. His behavior caused severe emotional distress to the victim and the victim’s family, according to the indictment.
“Victim-1’s mother received a text message attaching a mugshot of an individual with a message stating, ‘Gonna b worse from here ;),’ and stating, “sending now,” according to FBI agent Nicholas J. Murphy in the indictment.
“I believe, based on my training and experience, that the sender was telling Victim-1’s mother that he would be sending a felon to her residence.”
Prior to Cruz’s arrest, the victim and the FBI arranged for a May 5 in-person meeting between the victim and Cruz. The victim wore a wire and recorded Cruz’s admission of creating false dating profiles using the victim’s personal information and pictures, as well as sending men to the victim’s home and text messaging the victim’s family. He also admitted to keying the victim’s car. The meeting was monitored by the FBI.
Cruz continued to harass the victim after the meeting, days later following the victim to a gym and leaving a note on his windshield. He also sent the victim flowers and gifts, including a recorded video message where Cruz pledged to “right his wrongs.”