Home New York Press Releases 2012 Manhattan Man Pleads Guilty in Manhattan Federal Court to Illegally Threatening Pro-Life Advocates

Manhattan Man Pleads Guilty in Manhattan Federal Court to Illegally Threatening Pro-Life Advocates

U.S. Attorney’s Office May 10, 2012
  • Southern District of New York (212) 637-2600

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Janice K. Fedarcyk, the Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), announced today that Theodore Shulman, a pro-choice advocate, pled guilty today in Manhattan federal court to one count of transmitting a threat to injure another person by threatening to kill two pro-life advocates. Shulman pled guilty before United States District Judge Paul A. Crotty.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara stated, “As Theodore Shulman now knows the hard way, the freedom to express one’s views in America is not a license to make violent threats. We will prosecute and punish those who choose to make their points through threats of violence rather than persuasion and argument. ”

FBI Assistant Director in Charge Janice K. Fedarcyk stated, “There is a distinction between advocacy of one’s beliefs and making threats against those who disagree. Advocacy is a right protected by the FBI. Making threats is a serious crime.”

According to count two of the pndictment to which Shulman pled, the complaint, the plea agreement, other public record material, and statements made in court during today’s plea proceeding:

On January 14, 2010, Shulman transmitted a threat to injure two victims (Victim-1 and Victim-2) who were pro-life advocates by submitting a message for posting on a blog called “SecondHandSmoke” that appears on the website FirstThings.com. The message was, “If Roeder is acquitted, someone will respond by killing [Victim-1] of [the University] and [Victim-2] of Priests for Life.” Roeder refers to Scott Roeder, who was convicted in 2010 for the murder of Dr. George Tiller, who was a doctor who provided abortion services.

Shulman was in possession of cyanide, castor beans, and rosary peas at the time of his arrest in February 2011.

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Shulman, 51, of New York, New York, faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000. He is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Crotty on September 12, 2012 at 5:00 p.m.

Mr. Bharara praised the investigative work of the FBI.

This case is being handled by the Office’s General Crimes Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Kan M. Nawaday and David Miller are in charge of the prosecution.