Man admits to mailing threatening letters to judges from behind bars

By WKTV News

A man who was serving time on sex offenses has admitted in federal court that he sent threatening letters to the judges that were involved in his conviction.

According to the U.S. Attorney's office, Steven Willette, 59, of Schuyler Falls, pleaded guilty to the charge of "mailing threatening communications" on Friday, January 24.

Authorities say Willitte was indicted on June 29, 2011, on four counts of mailing threatening communications.

The indictment stemmed from letters the defendant mailed on October 22, 2010, from the Mohawk Correctional Facility, in Rome, where he was a prisoner. On that date, the authorities say Willette mailed threatening letters to a United States District Court Judge, a New York Supreme Court Judge, a Clinton County Supreme Court Judge, and a Franklin County Supreme Court Judge, all of whom had been involved in the defendant's previous convictions of first-degree sexual abuse or failure to report a change in address as a sex offender, or his classification as a Level III Sex Offender in New York State.

Willette is scheduled to be sentenced on August 10, 2012, in Utica.

A conviction of mailing a threatening communication to a United States judge carries a maximum sentence of ten years imprisonment and a fine up to $250,000.

The judge ordered that the defendant remain in the custody of the United States Marshals pending sentencing.

The investigation was conducted by the United States Postal Inspection Service, the New York State Department of Corrections Office of Inspector General, the New York State Department of Parole, and the New York State Police. The case is being prosecuted by the United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of New York.

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