Former News Reporter Behind JCC Bomb Threats Given Five-year Prison Sentence

The scene outside the JCC in Nashville, Tenn., following a bomb threat on Jan. 9. Credit: YouTube.

Juan Thompson, the St. Louis-based former news reporter arrested in connection with eight bomb threats against Jewish institutions, was sentenced to five years in prison by a federal court in Manhattan on Wednesday.

U.S. District Court Judge Kevin Castel sentenced Thompson after hearing a statement from his ex-girlfriend Francesca Rossi, who said she feared for her life due to Thompson. Castel called her statement “perhaps one of the most eloquent presentations I’ve heard in this courtroom.”

“He painted me as an anti-Semite, a racist, a drunk, a slut, a drug dealer, a child pornographer and a gun runner,” Rossi said.

“He did everything that he could to instill terror in my life. Computers, phones and tablets all became the apparatus for his abuse,” she added.

Thompson, a former reporter for The Intercept, was arrested in early March.

According to the FBI, Thompson threatened JCCs in San Diego and New York City, Jewish schools in New York and Michigan, a New York City Jewish history museum, and the Anti-Defamation League. Thompson reportedly made several of the threats in the name of Rossi and also in his own name.

In late March, an Israeli-American teenager living in Israel was arrested in connection to a majority of the more than 100 bomb threats made against JCCs and other Jewish institutions earlier this year.


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