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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Hamburg Man Indicted For Threatening A Local News Reporter

CONTACT: Barbara Burns
PHONE: (716) 843-5817
FAX #: (716) 551-3051

BUFFALO, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that a federal grand jury has returned an indictment charging Paul E. Lubienecki, 62, of Hamburg, NY, with stalking. The charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron J. Mango, who is handling the case, stated that according to the indictment and a previously filed complaint, between August, 20, 2019, and February 4, 2020, the defendant stalked a member of the Buffalo, NY media. On February 4, 2020, the Victim received a voicemail that contained a death threat. The Victim had been reporting on the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo clergy sex abuse scandal for the past two years, and on that day, the Victim reported that Christ the King Seminary was being closed by the Diocese.

As alleged in a complaint that was previously filed, during the call, defendant criticized the Victim's professionalism before stating, “...I know where you live in [town]. I'm going to find you. I'm going to kill you.” The Victim received other harassing voicemails from a number associated with the defendant during August, November, and December of 2019. All told, 11 harassing phone calls were made from the defendant’s phone to the Victim.”

“This indictment should serve as yet another reminder to the public,” stated U.S. Attorney Kennedy, “that while the First Amendment guarantees every person’s right to free speech, the Amendment does not protect criminal conduct.” 

The indictment is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Assistant Director Marlin Ritzman.

The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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Updated June 3, 2020