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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Former Resident Of Medford Lake, NJ And Beaufort, SC Accused Of Threatening President Obama’s Life On Facebook

PHILADELPHIA - An indictment[1] was filed today charging William Peterman, Jr., formerly of Medford Lake, NJ and more recently of Beaufort, SC, with threatening to kill President Barack Obama. According to the indictment, on January 10, 2017, posted on his Facebook page that he “will kill” President Barack Obama.


With the increased use of various forms of social media comes increased online threats that vary in nature. Law enforcement agencies as a whole, take such online based threats seriously and they can easily evolve into federal criminal charges for those individuals making them. Threats against the President of the United States and others that the United States Secret Service is statutorily authorized to protect is the Secret Service’s number one investigative priority. “This case and the resulting indictment demonstrates the Secret Service’s proactive stance investigating threats against those we are sworn to protect,” said James Henry, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Secret Service Philadelphia Field Office. “When brought to our attention - whether in person, electronically or written, the Secret Service takes every threat very seriously.”


If convicted, Peterman faces a statutory maximum sentence of five years’ imprisonment, a possible $250,000 fine, a period of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment.


The case was investigated by the United States Secret Service, the Burlington County (NJ) Prosecutor’s Office, and the Mercer County (NJ) Sheriff’s Office and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Anita Eve.


[1] An Indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.


Updated January 19, 2017