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Hamburg man pleads guilty to stalking reporter Charlie Specht following investigation into death threat

Posted at 3:13 PM, Aug 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-03 15:13:43-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — A Hamburg man faces up to five years in prison after pleading guilty in federal court to one count of stalking, following an investigation into a death threat made against 7 Eyewitness News reporter Charlie Specht.

Paul Lubienecki, 63, was an adjunct professor at Christ the King Seminary when he was arrested in February 2020 by agents from the FBI's Buffalo field office and charged with cyberstalking. Specht had been receiving threatening voicemails on his cell phone for six months before Lubienecki's arrest.

The messages referenced members of Specht's family, and where he lived. Following his report on the closure of Christ the King Seminary, Specht received another voicemail, in which the caller said "I'm gonna find you. I'm gonna kill you." Specht, his wife and children spent much of the next week living at an undisclosed location with around-the-clock private security.

Federal prosecutors say their investigation revealed Lubienecki had used a TracFone with a phone number that appeared as "unknown" to make the calls.

Lubienecki was indicted by a federal grand jury in June 2020. Following Tuesday's guilty plea, he will be sentenced on November 9 at 12:30 p.m. The maximum sentence is five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.