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Ex-journalist gets 5 years in prison in the Jewish threats case

NEW YORK – A former journalist of St. Louis who terrorized his ex-girlfriend and then made bomb threats in her name to the Jewish groups was sentenced on Wednesday to five years in prison after the ex-girlfriend told the court the case shows “domestic terrorism is rooted in violence against women.”

U. S. District Judge P. Kevin Castel said Juan Thompson, 32, committed the terrorism threats in the name of New York social worker, Francesca Rossi on a dozen times at the Jewish community centers, schools or other facilities in the country.

The threats came at the beginning of this year, when more than 150 bomb threats were reported at the Jewish community centers and day schools in 37 states and two Canadian provinces. The authorities blame on an 18-year-old Israeli-American Jewish hacker arrested in Israel in March.

The judge said Thompson made a sustained campaign against Rossi “to terrorize her and cause pain” to others.

Thompson, who pleaded guilty in June cyber stalking and making fake bomb threats to a dozen Jewish facilities, apologized to the conviction, admit, “There are wounds … that will probably never heal.”

Thompson’s sentence was a year longer than the prosecutors had requested, but the judge said that it was necessary for a man who overcame an abusive childhood to graduate from Vassar College in 2013 and then to turn his intelligence, social media expertise and creativity in the “weapons against the others.”

“His intelligence and creativity, making him an abomination,” the judge said.

Rossi, wearing a shirt that said “Believe Women,” said she was grateful for his life, but he was not convinced that he’s still not trying to kill me.”

“The abuse and victimization that I was exposed to is not unusual,” Rossi said. “We are here because terrorism is rooted in violence against women. … Intimate partner violence should be more legal attention, given the fact that 93 percent of female murders were committed by a man the victim knows.”

They also said that digital technology should be acknowledged as “a powerful weapon to impose violence.”

“Countless people are exposed to the same kind and degree of harassment and abuse that Juan inflicted on me,” she said. “And worse.”

She then said she met Thompson, he seemed to be the “perfect man”, charming and intelligent, a passionate journalist, who spoke of social justice.

Once living together, the “real Juan arise,” as he began to “isolate, shame and abuse me,” Rossi said.

She said that he is convinced that her ex-boyfriends were stalking and threatening her. She said: he made it look like an ex-boyfriend had posted a nude picture of her as his Facebook profile photo and an ex-boyfriend was persecuted the woman, who claimed she had a sexually transmitted disease from her husband.

Rossi said the abuse worsened in the nine months after they end the relationship, with Thompson trying to get her fired the next day by posing as several journalists who claims her bosses that she was being investigated for professional and ethical violations.

“Juan has dedicated a whole year to destroy my life,” she said. “He painted me as an anti-Semite, a racist, a drunk, a slut, a drug dealer, a child pornographer and a gun runner. He did everything he could to instill fear in my life.”

Rossi, which was composed during her long statement, but called at least once, said Thompson used to the digital platform imaginable for her to harass and went after at least 47 people in her life, including her 92-year-old grandmother. They said they asked law enforcement for help more than 20 times, but was told: “It will get worse, and then we can try to help.”

Rossi said Thompson mentions of a Brooklyn police station five months before his arrest that Rossi was going to “shoot” in the district, which the New York Police Department to interview her. Another time, she said, the NYPD firearms division showed up to investigate whether they sell guns.

Finally, the FBI investigated after Thompson asked if Rossi report of a threat of the San Diego Jewish community center, she recalled. Four days later, Thompson was arrested.

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