BUFFALO — An adjunct professor at Christ the King Seminary has been arrested and charged for threatening a journalist, according to an announcement by the U.S. Attorney’s office.
Paul Lubienecki, 62, of Hamburg, is accused of cyberstalking.
In a press statement, Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron Mango said that on Feb. 4 a member of the Buffalo media received a voicemail that contained a death threat. The alleged call to the journalist, who has been reporting the clergy sex abuse scandal in the Diocese of Buffalo for the past two years, occurred on the same day the diocese announced the seminary would be closed at the end of its academic year in May.
According to the complaint, the caller criticized the reporter’s professionalism before allegedly stating, “...I know where you live in [town]. I’m going to find you. I’m going to kill you.”
The complaint further states that the alleged victim received other harassing voicemails from a phone number associated with the defendant during August, November and December. All told, according to federal prosecutors, 11 harassing phone calls allegedly were made from the phone number associated with Lubienecki.
The defendant made an initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge H. Kenneth Schroeder and was released on conditions.
The charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The U.S. Attorney’s office said the case is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Gary Loeffert.
Meanwhile,Lubienecki is also an adjunct professor at SUNY Fredonia. The university issued a statement:
“We are aware that an adjunct faculty member has been arrested on charges not related to his employment or work with students. We are following the case as it goes through the legal process, and we will cooperate with authorities as needed.
The university said its provost’s office “will work with students to ensure classes continue as scheduled.”