Man accused of threatening journalists out on bond

Robert Snell
The Detroit News
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The Theodore Levin United States Courthouse in downtown Detroit. *** Photo taken on Friday, November 3, 2017. (John T. Greilick, The Detroit News)

Detroit — An Ann Arbor man accused of sending threatening, anti-Semitic and sexually violent messages to Detroit journalists and an elected official was freed on bond Monday after spending at least four days behind bars.

U.S. Magistrate Judge R. Steven Whalen freed Lawrence Steven Brayboy on house arrest, ordered him to wear a GPS tether, barred him from using the Internet and prohibited him from contacting media outlets, elected officials, victims, witnesses or their families. Brayboy, who called himself “the Rosa Parks of 9/11 truth” during an earlier court appearance, also is only allowed to leave home to travel to court, a court spokesman said.

The move came four days after federal authorities unsealed a criminal complaint accusing Brayboy, 69, of targeting journalists at the Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News, including Editorial Page Editor Nolan Finley and former columnist Laura Berman.

Between October 2017 and October 2018, one writer received at least 65 voicemails from Brayboy, and virtually every one “contained sexually violent threats and/or sexually vulgar language directed toward” him, his wife or mother, according to the criminal complaint. “Brayboy referenced Victim One as a 9/11 traitor and that all traitors will be sentenced to death.”

In one voicemail, authorities assert, Brayboy threatened to send the writer “to Guantanamo Bay where we’re gonna water board and torture you, we'll videotape and document the event, you dirty little (expletive) child molesting, mass murdering psychopath.”

Another writer received many calls, emails and messages from Brayboy for years, including nearly 30 voicemails between October 2017 and October 2018, according to the FBI. Besides suggesting the staffer be prosecuted and hanged, Brayboy talked about his dead mother having sex with two Michigan lawmakers and “sexual violence directed at minor children” related to him, the complaint said.

A former writer also received around 10 emails daily from Brayboy over a decade as well as recent voicemails mentioning a sex act with his children. Even after the staffer changed jobs this year, “Brayboy began to leave voicemail messages … at his two current places of employment.” 

Investigators also accuse Brayboy of inundating an Ann Arbor official with 34 emails between Oct. 5 and Nov. 2. Last month, he allegedly sent the official and 80 other recipients a message calling for the extermination of “Israel USA Bullies of the World” during a football game.

“I guarantee the largest TV audience in human history for that event,” he wrote. 

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Twitter: @robertsnellnews

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