BUFFALO -- An adjunct professor at an East Aurora Catholic seminary has been charged with threatening to kill a local television reporter.
Agents with the Buffalo Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested Paul E. Lubienecki, 62, of Hamburg, on Wednesday. Lubienecki was charged with cyberstalking.
The charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Federal prosecutors, who are handling the case, said the victim, identified in a news report broadcast on the station as WKBW Channel 7 investigative reporter Charlie Specht, received a voicemail message in Feb. 4 that contained a death threat.
Specht had been reporting on the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo clergy sex abuse scandal for the past two years. On the day the threat was made, the targeted journalist had aired a story that reported that Christ the King Seminary was being closed by the Diocese.
According to a criminal complaint, filed in the case, Lubienecki left a voicemail message that criticized the Specht’s professionalism and then stated, “I know where you live in [a Western New York town]. I’m going to find you. I’m going to kill you.”
Prosecutors said the reporter also received other harassing voicemails from a number associated with Lubienecki during August, November, and December. In total, 11 harassing phone calls were made from the phone number associated with Lubienecki to the reporter.
Lubienecki was arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge H. Kenneth Schroeder and was released on conditions.