Mariah Mosher was not silent about the harassment and abuse she claims she suffered from an ex-boyfriend.
The young Lockport woman shared the contents of threatening emails that she claimed the ex-boyfriend, Matthew Rinker, sent to her with her thousands of friends and followers on her Facebook page, prompting expressions of anger and disgust at Rinker.
But police say she fabricated the threatening emails that she initially claimed were sent by Rinker, 25, of Cheektowaga. City police charged her with two counts of making a punishable false written statement, both related to the emails.
According to police reports, Mosher, 24, of Park Avenue, later admitted to creating an email address with Rinker's name and sending emails to herself.
She admitted Oct. 28 in Lockport City Court to at least one of the charges and pleaded guilty to one count of attempted making a false written statement, a misdemeanor offense punishable by up to three months in jail.
Though police eventually learned some of Mosher's allegations were apparently bogus, Rinker said many of Mosher's followers on social media have not.
Many wrote comments on her page, captured on screenshots, suggesting Rinker should be physically attacked.
"People are on my page, posting my picture, saying this guy did this," Rinker said. "I’m afraid to walk around town. There were a good three months when I was afraid to be by myself out there."
In the months after Mosher's first allegation of abuse, Rinker said he was grilled by close friends, as though they believed he had threatened, harassed and even physically assaulted Mosher. He said he lost out on a potential job opportunity with a local brewery, and a woman he began dating suddenly stopped talking to him, both of which he blames on Mosher's allegations.
And on Nov. 26, 2018, Mosher's current boyfriend, Dustin Dittmer, confronted Rinker outside his former workplace in the Bewley Building. Dittmer, wielding a wrench, told Rinker to stay away from Mosher, saying, "This is the last time I am going to tell you," according to a police report.
“The whole entire town had it in their mind that I’m a beater of women," Rinker said. "People assume she wouldn’t lie about that, because who lies about that stuff.”
The "uneasiness" of being seen as an abuser eventually pushed Rinker to leave Lockport altogether. He got a job in West Seneca in the spring, and in June, he moved to Cheektowaga.
"I thought that no matter what happened, they’d believe I’m like this," Rinker said. "Even if they won’t say it to my face. ... I always thought in the back of my mind, they would believe that.”
Rinker and Mosher broke up in June 2017, after a roughly four-year relationship and three years of living together. The two offered drastically different accounts of the relationship.
Rinker said their relationship did not have any serious issues early on, but "went downhill" around spring 2016.
Mosher said in a police report — the same one that included the false allegation that Rinker sent a threatening email — that Rinker "assaulted me several times" while they were together.
Mosher did not respond to an online message seeking comment. Her public defender, Edward Zebulske, did not return several calls for comment.
By Rinker's account, the relationship ended amicably and the two did not have any further contact until last fall.
The first incident documented in city police reports is Dittmer's confrontation of Rinker outside the Bewley Building. According to the police report, Rinker reported the confrontation to his boss and city police, and neither man was charged.
Dittmer reportedly told police that Rinker had been sending unwanted texts and emails to Mosher, and that she had complained about Rinker's behavior to LPD in the past. Dittmer also said he would contact LPD instead of confronting Rinker in the future, according to the police report.
A little over two weeks later, Mosher reported to LPD a threatening and profane email that she said originated with a gmail account with Rinker's name. She told LPD that Rinker began sending those emails Aug. 26, 2018, and that she had asked him not to contact her.
Mosher asked for an order of protection against Rinker.
But one day before Mosher's report, Rinker went to LPD and reported that Mosher had posted a fabricated email on her Facebook page. He said he had no contact with Mosher and worried the post would lead to people "retaliating against him," city police reported.
Mosher's Facebook page recently showed few posts older than July 8.
Mosher's next alleged contact with Rinker occurred about 2 a.m. Feb. 13 outside Gonzo's Bar on Main Street. Mosher told police that while she was walking to her car, Rinker snuck up behind her, pushed her, called her a derogatory term and kicked her hip.
Mosher shared photos of supposed bruises on her back and leg, dirty jeans and a slashed tire on her Instagram page. Her account on the photo-sharing social media website has nearly 15,000 followers.
Detective Daniel Wenner went to Gonzo's three days later and interviewed a bartender who was working the night of the alleged incident. The bartender said Mosher left the bar about the same time as him and was with several men; Wenner's notes show the bartender contradicting Mosher's account.
Rinker said he had not been to Gonzo's in months — a claim the bartender corroborated, according to the police report.
On March 3, Mosher reported another threatening email from Rinker to police. But LPD was unable to confirm the email came from Rinker.
Rinker went to police Oct. 1 to report Mosher for "creating an email in my name and sending fake messages to herself pretending to be me."
A week later, Mosher appeared in city court on two charges of making a false written statement.
Rinker said he "definitely" plans to sue Mosher, saying he spent more than $1,200 in legal fees to prevent her from obtaining an order of protection. If Mosher had gotten an order of protection, she could have had him charged with criminal contempt for any contact he had with her; Rinker worried he'd be arrested for false claims.
Otherwise, Rinker said, he hopes to put this ordeal behind him — and clear his name among those who read or heard her allegations.
"I’ve finally proven that she’s lying about everything," Rinker said. "Hopefully it stops."