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Queens man charged in Facebook spat

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A Fresh Meadows man who allegedly hijacked his Kew Gardens girlfriend’s Facebook account and beat her while threatening to make sex tapes of them public will return to court next week, the Queens district attorney’s office said.

Paul Franco, 38, was arrested Feb. 10 after he allegedly broke into Jessica Zamora-Anderson’s Facebook account, changed the password and told the woman with whom he had had a rocky relationship that he would only return the account if she paid close to $400, according to the DA.

He is due back in court March 11 and faces charges of assault, coercion, criminal mischief, petit larceny and harassment, the district attorney said.If found guilty, he could be sentenced to as much as a year in jail, according to the DA.

Franco’s attorney, Michael Hughes, said he had no comment about the case.

Zamora-Anderson, 30, and Franco met on Facebook in November 2008, when he pretended to be a Queens College professor, according to the New York Post. They dated for about a year when the couple got into a fight and Zamora-Anderson told Franco he would have to leave her apartment or she would call the police, after which Franco allegedly threw a telephone at her head, according to the district attorney.

A couple of months later on Jan. 24, Franco allegedly beat his girlfriend after she took from him a sex tape the two of them had made in early January, the DA said. Franco hadrefused to give the video to her beforehand and the Post reported she was concerned he would make the video public.

Zamora-Anderson retrieved the video while Franco was in the shower, after which he allegedly became enraged and pushed her to the ground, according to the DA. When Zamora-Anderson went to call the police from her cell phone, Franco allegedly grabbed the phone and smashed it into multiple pieces, according to the district attorney.

“‘I have other videos of us having intercourse at my apartment that you don’t know about,’” the DA reported Franco allegedly told his girlfriend. “If you don’t give me the storage card back, I will make them public.”

About a week later on Jan. 30, Franco’s car was towed because it was parked illegally near Zamora-Anderson’s apartment in Kew Gardens. Franco then allegedly demanded $185 from Zamora-Anderson to retrieve it, which she paid because she was afraid he would air the sex tapes, according to the district attorney.

The $390 Franco allegedly tried to get from Zamora-Anderson was also to pay for the car, the DA said.

Reach reporter Anna Gustafson by e-mail at agustafson@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4574.

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