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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Massachusetts Man Sentenced to Four Years in Prison For Sending Threatening Emails to Police Commissioner

PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams announced that Peter Fratus, 40, of West Dennis, MA, was sentenced to four years in prison, and three years of supervised release by United States District Judge Gerald J. Pappert for sending racist, misogynistic threats via email to Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw.

In September 2021, the defendant was convicted after a three-day trial on charges of transmitting threatening communications in interstate commerce. As established during trial, Fratus sent two June 2020 emails to the Philadelphia Police Commissioner’s official City of Philadelphia email address. Both emails contained racist, offensive, and threatening language, with one communication asking where Commissioner resides. Further, the defendant has a long history of sending racist, misogynistic threats and assaulting law enforcement officers.

“Sending threats online is a serious federal crime, whether the victim is a private citizen or a prominent civic leader,” said U.S. Attorney Williams. “The public can rest assured that our Office, together with our law enforcement partners, will work tirelessly to identify anyone who does this in order to ensure they’re held accountable for their actions.”

“Peter Fratus apparently thought he could make violent physical threats with impunity, but today’s sentencing proves how wrong he was,” said Jacqueline Maguire, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division. “Threats to life are most certainly not protected speech, and the FBI will continue to work with our partners to hold accountable anyone who crosses the line and commits these criminal acts.”

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with assistance from the Philadelphia Police Department and the Dennis Police Department, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Robert J. Livermore and Sarah M. Wolfe.

Contact: 
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY’S OFFICE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA 615 Chestnut Street, Suite 1250 Philadelphia, PA 19106 JENNIFER CRANDALL Media Contact 215-861-8300 If you have not done so already, follow @USAO_EDPA and @USAttyWilliams on Twitter to get the most up-to-date information about big cases and community news.
Updated January 19, 2022