John Crosby appeared in District Court in Portland Maine, admitting to charges that he sent threatening communications to NPR hosts Melissa Block and Guy Raz. Block and Raz, co-hosts of “All Things Considered,” received threatening communications from Crosby in January.
Crosby, 38, also admitted to possession of a firearm in conjunction with the threats. Crosby admitted to contacting Block and Raz via the Internet from Portland on January 11th. Crosby issued threats of rape, beatings, torture and that he would kill Block. Crosby also issued an ethnic slur to Raz and threatened to kill him.
Assistant Attorney Julia Lipez stated that Crosby was arrested on January 26th in Portland. In his possession was a shotgun, stowed in his car. Crosby had priors including state robbery and heroin possession. The previous convictions made his ownership of a shotgun illegal.
Members of NPR (National Public Radio) were notified of Crosby’s conviction. He faces up to ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine. NPR has lost much of its top staff this year and has come under scrutiny in Washington as legislators work on ways to cut spending. NPR receives about 2% of funding from the government. NPR chief executive officer Vivian Schiller resigned in March in the wake of the controversy over a group sting of an NPR official.