The man, whose case over the previous threats went to the US Supreme Court, was found guilty of cyber-harassment

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A 39-year-old former man from the Bethlehem area, whose previous threats case went all the way to the US Supreme Court, was convicted in federal court last week on three counts of cyber -harassment, according to the archives.

Anthony Douglas Elonis, who claimed his previous Facebook threats to shoot a kindergarten and harm his ex-wife and an FBI agent were actually rap lyrics under the persona of ‘Tone Dougie’ , was found guilty by a jury on Friday after a five-day trail in Philadelphia on the new charges.

He was found guilty in 2011 of four out of five counts of threatening terrorism. His message threatening to blow up Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom was too vague to be taken seriously, jurors said at the time.

The most recent case was based on emails sent by Elonis in 2020 to the prosecutor in his 2010 case – including threatening to burn a cross on the lawyer’s lawn – as well as phone calls, texts and emails targeting his ex-wife and a former girlfriend. in recent years despite protective orders being in place, records show.

Elonis’ trial began Aug. 1 before Judge Edward G. Smith and a jury in federal court in Philadelphia, records show. Opening statements took place on Tuesday and the prosecutor’s brief, led by Assistant U.S. Attorney Geoffrey W. MacArthur, rested Thursday, as did the defense, led by Easton’s attorney Robert C. Patterson, records show.

The jury returned its guilty verdict on Friday, records show. Sentencing is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Nov. 18 in Easton Federal Court.

Elonis was arrested in July 2021 after a federal grand jury issued a three-count indictment, and he was released from federal prison on August 1 to attend his trial, records show. He is currently being held at Lehigh County Jail, records show.

MacArthur said Monday morning that he had forwarded lehighvalleylive.comasks a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Intermediate District of Pennsylvania to comment on the sentencing. This person did not immediately respond. Patterson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Elonis was sentenced in 2011 to 44 months in federal custody for threatening.

In 2015, the United States Supreme Court determined jurors were given erroneous instructions Elonis could be found guilty if a reasonable person expected his statements to be construed as a threat. The court ruled 8-1 that this instruction was not sufficient to warrant a conviction.

The case was remanded to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, which determined that the jury’s erroneous instruction was not serious enough to warrant overturning Elonis’s convictions.

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Tony Rhodin can be reached at arhodin@lehighvalleylive.com.


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