A Bel Air man has been accused of harassment and racial harassment for allegedly sending packages of "hate mail" that railed against homosexuals and Martin Luther King Jr. and that contained veiled threats against President Bush.
Robert Robusto, 67, was charged with four counts of harassment and one count of racial harassment by the Bel Air Police Department on Jan. 23, district court records show. Trial has been scheduled for April.
Robusto is accused of sending three letters between Oct. 11 and Oct. 30 to the county's director of AIDS education, police said. The woman, concerned for her safety, notified police.
"The letters dealt with homosexual issues or AIDS and the writer made it clear he was anti-homosexual," the charging documents filed in district court said.
Robusto became a suspect when a letter he wrote appeared in The Aegis, a Harford County weekly newspaper, police said. The letter wassimilar to the ones he sent to the county official, police said.
On Jan. 22, the publisher of the Impulse Shopper, an advertisement publication printed in Abingdon, notified the Secret Service that he had received a package of information from Robusto, police said.
Robusto wanted the information to run as an advertisement, police said. In the ad, Robusto wanted to advise readers to salute military personnel serving in the Persian Gulf, but it also contained "veiled threats" to President Bush and his wife, Barbara, police said.
The Secret Service notified Bel Air police to investigate.
Also on Jan. 22,Robusto sent a letter to the Sears Outlet in Bel Air complaining about the store's sale, which celebrated King's birthday, police said.
"The mail was directed against a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. birthday sale and the black race," police documents say.
Sears representatives turned the information over to police investigators.
If convicted, Robusto faces up to 30 days in prison and $500 in fines for each of the four harassment counts and three years in prison and $5,000in fines for the racial harassment charge.
Robusto was originallyscheduled to stand trial on Feb. 21, but the case has been postponeduntil April 17, according to court documents.