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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of West Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Massachusetts Man Indicted for Mailing Threatening Communications to Circuit Judge

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - A federal grand jury has indicted Keith Lessard, 40, of Uxbridge, Massachusetts, for mailing threatening communications to a Kanawha County Circuit Judge, according to United States Attorney Mike Stuart.

According to the indictment, Lessard engaged in a series of communications with the Judge and others using email and the United States Postal Service. The indictment alleges that the communications were part of a scheme to extort money from the Judge by threatening injury to her reputation by claiming that she engaged in illegal prosecutorial misconduct in a 2010 case against Lessard when she was serving as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in Kanawha County.

“Threats of any kind are taken seriously and investigated, especially when those threats target a member of the judiciary,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart. “Lessard now faces two years if convicted of this scheme that targeted a judge.”

“These threats are taken very seriously and an example of the FBI’s dedication to keeping our community safe,” said FBI Pittsburgh Special Agent in Charge Michael Christman. “These charges should send the message that we will not tolerate sending threatening words to victims in our communities.”

Lessard faces up to two years in prison, if convicted.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) are conducting the investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Joshua C. Hanks is handling the prosecution.

Please note: An indictment is merely an allegation and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia. Related court documents and information can be found on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:20-cr-00144.

 

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Updated August 19, 2020