(JTA) – A former journalist from St. Louis accused of making at least eight bomb threats against Jewish community centres and the Anti-Defamation League did not seek bail at during his appearance in a New York federal court.
Juan Thompson, 31, made his first appearance Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan and will likely remain in jail until his next hearing on April 10. He is facing cyberstalking charges for the threats, which federal prosecutors say were copycat crimes during a wave of nearly 150 bomb threats to JCCs and other Jewish institutions since the beginning of the year.
Thompson reportedly made some of the threats in the name of a former romantic partner he had been cyberstalking and some on his own in an attempt to portray himself as being framed.
He was arrested March 3 for the threats, which carry a penalty of up to five years in prison and a fine up to $250,000. Bail had been denied at the time of his arrest.
The FBI complaint says Thompson threatened institutions including the ADL, JCCs in San Diego and New York City, schools in New York and Michigan, and a Jewish history museum in New York City.
Nearly three weeks later after his arrest, an Israeli-American teen was arrested in Israel for allegedly making the bulk of the threats.