YORK, Maine — A Maine man faces federal charges of sending false, threatening emails that appeared to be from local police and education officials.

The Portsmouth Herald reports 22-year-old Austin Santoro is charged with 11 felonies that each carries up to five years in prison. Some charges say Santoro sent emails threatening rape at gunpoint that appeared to be from the police chief in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, to female members of the department. Chief Robert Merner said he never sent those emails.

Police later determined the emails were sent from a Czech-based website that lets users falsify emails.

Public defender J. Hilary Billings said Wednesday that he doesn’t want to comment on the allegations.

Information from: Portsmouth Herald, http://www.seacoastonline.com

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.