Disgraced former journalist Juan Thompson pleaded guilty to making a false threat about the use of a weapon of mass destruction and cyberstalking his ex-girlfriend by framing her for dozens of bomb threats against Jewish centers this year.
“I sent e-mails and faxes to my ex-romantic partner’s employer,” Thompson said in court, adding that he knew the allegations he made were false and meant to cause her distress. “For this I deeply apologize.”
Thompson, who turned 32 in a federal jail in Brooklyn after he was arrested this March, wore a light smirk throughout the proceedings.
“I’m slightly nervous but I have to deal with the consequences of my actions,” he told the judge.
Thompson was initially only charged with cyberstalking. The second charge, about a hoax relating to the use of a weapon of mass destruction, was added in a superseding information filed Tuesday.
Thompson was arrested after nationwide panic about bomb and gun threats to Jewish schools and community centers and an increasingly hostile political climate. An Israeli-American teenager was also arrested in April for making similar threats.
The guilty plea marks the end of a web of deceit for Thompson, who initially portrayed himself as the victim of racial animus in the situation. He tried to claim that his ex called in the threats in his name after first coming under scrutiny.
"[Juan Thompson] wants to create Jewish newtown tomorrow," he allegedly wrote in a convoluted attempt to frame his girlfriend for framing him.
In another instance, Thompson told the Anti-Defamation League that his girlfriend “is behind the bomb threats against jews."
"She lives in nyc and is making more bomb threats tomorrow," he wrote.
He also called in defamatory claims to his ex-girlfriend's employee, according to prosecutors. And a week before his arrest, he turned his vitriol on full blast.
“She seemed like a cool Brooklyn white radical,” he wrote. “So now I’m battling the racist FBI and this vile, evil, racist white woman. I’m afraid… we know what happens when white women use the law to go after black men.”
Thompson was fired from The Intercept in 2016 after revelations that he fabricated parts of his resume, and that he invented the central character of his profile of the supposed cousin of white supremacist terrorist Dylann Roof.