KENT, Ohio — Kent State professor Julio Pino is accused by federal prosecutors of lying to FBI agents about his social media connection to a man who made threats against a Missouri judge, court records show.
Pino was charged through a bill of information Monday. Such charges indicate that a plea deal has been struck.
The allegations stem from social media messages Pino made with a man involved in a child custody case in Missouri, according to a 4-page indictment filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Cleveland.
“I will kill 100s of people if they take my rights away as a father,” the man, identified as J.E. wrote.
Pino replied, “Yes, in military terms this is known as a Parthian shot.”
He also encouraged the man to “devour them.”
“Thanks, I will,” J.E. replied.
Later, when the threats against a St. Louis Family Court judge were investigated by the FBI, Pino denied knowing the man.
Pino, an associate professor at Kent State, was also under investigation in 2016 over possible ties to the Islamic State.
Pino has had a controversial tenure at the Ohio college for his harsh beliefs on Israel.
Akron attorney Warner Mendenhall, who is representing Pino, said he is working toward a “resolution” in the case. He said Pino will leave the university and no longer teach on campus as a result of the charges.
Pino is now barred from the university. Spokesman Eric Mansfield released a statement late Monday afternoon:
“Kent State University Professor Julio Pino has been suspended after charges were filed today in federal court. The university has also prohibited him from coming onto any Kent State campus. The university continues to cooperate with the Department of Justice on this matter, and all inquiries about this case should be directed to that office.”
Pino’s students should still come to class, Mansfield said.
“The university has a system in place to provide qualified instructors to lead a class when the assigned instructor cannot continue. Students should continue coming to class and will be able to complete their studies.”
Pino first came to Kent State in 1992. Among many incidents, he yelled “death to Israel” during a lecture by an Israeli diplomat in 2011.
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