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Professor accused of stalking reporter gets prison time

Adjunct professor Paul Lubienecki appears in a still frame from a WKBW broadcast after being charged with cyber-stalking a local news reporter. (Photo: WKBW)

A Catholic professor who stalked a Buffalo TV news reporter was sentenced to serve 12 months in federal prison on Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Justice announced.

The sentence against 63-year-old Paul E. Lubienecki of Hamburg was handed down three months after he pled guilty in the case. He faced between 18 and 30 months in prison, according to his plea agreement.

Lubienecki was arrested by FBI agents in February 2020 after federal law enforcement connected him to a mysterious case of cyber-stalking involving a reporter at WKBW (Channel 7, ABC) in Buffalo. Police say Lubienecki left voicemails threatening violence against the reporter, whom The Desk identified as investigative journalist Charlie Specht.

Police say Lubienecki was upset that Specht and WKBW were conducting a series of investigations into the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo and some of its clergy members who were accused of sexual misconduct. Prior to Specht’s report, Lubienecki worked as an adjunct professor for the Christ the King Seminary, which was operated by the Catholic Diocese. The school closed following WKBW’s reports.

While he was sentenced to serve 12 months in prison, he will likely be released well before the expiration of his sentence if he accrued good conduct credit and participates in recidivism-based activities, among other factors.

WKBW is owned by the E.W. Scripps Company.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is an award-winning journalist with more than 10 years of experience covering the business of television and radio broadcasting, streaming services and the overall media industry. In addition to his work as publisher of The Desk, Matthew contributes regularly to StreamTV Insider and KnowTechie, and has worked for several well-known news organizations, including Thomson Reuters, McNaughton Newspapers, Grasswire, Comstock's magazine, KTXL-TV and KGO-TV. Matthew is a member of IRE, a trade organization for investigative reporters and editors, and is based in Northern California.

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