Man pleads guilty to threatening Rep. John Lewis' staff

AP News
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Posted: Jan 26, 2018 4:17 PM
Man pleads guilty to threatening Rep. John Lewis' staff

ATLANTA (AP) — A man accused of threatening the staff of U.S. Rep. John Lewis pleaded guilty Friday in federal court.

Dante Antione Rosser, 43, pleaded guilty to a charge of threatening a federal official. Rosser's plea agreement calls for a sentence of 18 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, prosecutor Phyllis Clerk said in court.

Clerk said Rosser made threatening calls — some sexual in nature — to Lewis' offices in Atlanta and Washington from March 2016 through February 2017.

Court records say the Democratic congressman's Atlanta-based staff members expressed "grave concerns" for their safety after Rosser visited their office and made repeated phone calls.

Rosser made 46 calls over two days in February and demanded the congressman's staff seek "financial reparations" for his family, according to a sworn statement from a U.S. Capitol Police special agent. The statement says Rosser threatened to "splatter their heads all over the ground."

After the case received media attention, the staff at an apartment complex near Atlanta where Rosser had previously lived contacted the FBI to say that he had harassed them for about two years, Clerk told a magistrate judge in July. The threats and harassment increased in intensity, and Rosser even showed up at the leasing office and shouted at the employees, Clerk said.

The recommendation of 18 months in prison is binding if U.S. District Judge Steve Jones accepts the plea agreement. Jones said he wanted to review a presentence report to be completed by a probation officer before accepting the agreement. Sentencing is set for April 23.