New York

Long Island man sentenced to 30 months in prison for anti-gay threats

An elderly anti-gay bigot was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison for sending dozens of threats to members of the LGBTQ+ community — including a horrifying letter to a city Pride organizer that promised an attack that would make the 2016 Orlando Pulse nightclub massacre “look like a cakewalk.”

Robert Fehring, 74, of Bayport, Long Island, penned 65 poisonous letters since 2013, threatening to detonate bombs at parades and events, shoot people at the historic Stonewall Inn and burn the iconic business down, prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memo.

“As you f—–g scum are preparing to waltz your fruity, freaky f—-t asses down the NY parade lanes, we warn you that there will be radio-controlled devices placed at numerous strategic places, and firepower aimed at you from other strategic places. We’ve had enough!!! This will make the 2016 Orlando Pulse Nightclub shooting look like a cakewalk,” Fehring wrote last May.

He sent the letter to the executive director of an organization setting up an NYC Pride event. The 2016 shooting at Pulse, a well-known gay nightclub, left 49 people dead and dozens wounded.

In another letter, sent to the co-owners of the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, Fehring wrote: “All of you should be shot, hung, exterminated … we will blow up/burn your establishments down. We will shoot those who frequent your dens of filth, s—, scum and perversion.”

When the FBI searched Fehring’s home in Bayport in November, agents found photos of a June 2021 Pride event in East Meadow, L.I., two loaded shotguns, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, two stun guns, an American flag-patterned machete and a stamped envelope addressed to an attorney involved in LGBTQ causes containing the remains of a dead bird.

Six of Fehring’s victims spoke at Wednesday’s sentencing hearing, including three Sayville Chamber of Commerce officials, two co-owners of the Stonewall Inn and LGBT Network activist David Kilmnick.

Prosecutors asked the judge to give Fehring at least 51 months in prison. Fehring’s defense team, in their own sentencing memo, argued some of his behavior can be attributed to his being sexually assaulted as a child by a male cousin. They also listed a number of physical and mental health issues that would make incarceration difficult for Fehring at his age.

“Today’s sentence makes clear that threats to kill and commit acts of violence against the LGBTQ+ community will be met with significant punishment,” Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Breon Peace in a statement Wednesday.

Fehring was ordered to surrender to prison by Sept. 2.

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