A Stoughton gent, I think we will soon hear, had a wacky sense of humor Unfortunately, it was not shared by those around him. In fact, what he apparently found clever was something that most of us find rather disturbing.
As a result, Mr. Anthony Rae, 24 and hereinafter, the “Defendant”, is a current involuntary guest of the United States Government. He has been arrested for sending bizarre bomb threats to various locations. According to the United States Attorney’s office, these included various academic institutions.
The Defendant was not exactly the picture of stealth according to the prosecution. They say that he hacked into his mother’s email and sent some of them from there.
He is alleged to have sent the bomb threats to Norwood Park Elementary School in Chicago, Norwood High School, Rhode Island College, North Carolina State University and ITT TechnIcal Institute in Norwood, Massachusetts where he was attending school.
According to the Boston Herald, the government alleges that the messages lf these threats included:
“I will bomb your school on march 26th (sic) at 7:30pm just for my pleasure!!!!!”;
“I will bomb your school just for my pleasure and my fun!!!!!!!!!!! on Tuesday june (sic) 16th.”; and
“I will bomb your school Thursday at any time day or night, hahahaha,”
Apparently, the subject on at least on of these emails was “BOOM!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?”
These emails were sent between March 26 and September 19th.
Interestingly, the defendant is said to have continued sending threats even though authorities had interviewed him on November 2, 2014.
His home was searched on June 16 after the second ITT Tech threat, according to the prosecution. The next day, they say he sent the threat to Rhode Island College. He was arrested on June 19, and even though he was released on GPS monitoring, authorities say he sent the bomb threat to North Carolina State on September 19.
There are some folks who simply do not know when to quit!
The Defendant had an initial appearance in federal court in Boston yesterday and was held pending a dangerousness hearing on October 15th. If found guilty, is facing 10 years in prison, three years supervised release, and a fine of $250,000.
Attorney Sam’s Take On Bad Jokes And Real Life Consequences
Unless one has a great urge to use an insanity defense, if the prosecution can indeed link a person such as the Defendant to such emails…such person has a real problem.
Pranks such as the various “Ha ha”’s in the emails would indicate these were supposed to be are no longer considered funny by law enforcement or anybody else these days. They are considered acts of potential terrorism. At the very least, they are threats to commit a crime.
“But, Sam, why is this case in federal court?”
Because the recipients of the emails were in various states. Further, the internet was used which, in itself, gives the federal officials jurisdiction.
Now, there are still elements which the prosecution will have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. However, actual intent to bomb places is not one of them. The putting in fear is enough.
Rest assured, testimony as to said fear will be very easy for the government to show.
Not that I would condone this type of behavior, which I certainly do NOT, but using his mother’s account might be relevant to the Defendant’s mental state. Not usually a great idea to leave such a footprint back to yourself when engaging in criminal conduct such as this.
Yes, be assured, this is considered a federal crime in this day and age.
“Yeah, but the Defendant is likely to get a little slap on the wrist, right?”
Probably not. There have been too man such cases out there. The fact that the United States Government are prosecuting the case in indicative that this is being considered a serious matter. Particularly since agents had already interviewed the Defendant in the middle of the emails…and he allegedly kept doing the same thing.
Two different possible ways to spin that:
For the government
: “We warned him. He just did not care. Despite the fact that the seriousness of what he was doing was shown to him, he simply did not care. He just kept right on sending the emails.”
For the defense
: “ He was warned and he knew he was getting himself in trouble. However, such was his mental state that the compulsion was simply not controllable. He could not comprehend issues of what was right or wrong. He could not fight the irresistible impulse.”
…Of course the above argument for the defense would mean admitting that the Defendant DID IT. So, it is not a defense to be chosen lightly.