Man allegedly harassing actress Selena Gomez is convicted stalker
The man ordered to stay away from Disney star Selena Gomez has two previous stalking convictions, authorities said.
A judge in Los Angeles County Superior Court last week ordered Thomas Brodnicki, 46, to stay at least 100 yards away from Gomez, her parents and an assistant.
Brodnicki, formerly of Des Plaines, Ill., allegedly has a long history of mental illness.
He was arrested in 2003 on charges that he stalked a waitress at a Des Plaines restaurant, Des Plaines Police Chief Jim Prandini said. Brodnicki was eventually convicted in 2008 and sentenced to three years in prison, but only after he was found unfit to stand trial in 2007 and re-committed to a mental health facility, said Maria McCarthy, a Cook County assistant state's attorney.
It's not clear how much of the three-year sentence Brodnicki actually served, but, just months after his sentencing, in July 2008, he was arrested again in Elk Grove Village, Ill., and charged with cyberstalking.
In that case, police and prosecutors said Brodnicki stalked the woman for years after first approaching her at a Des Plaines convenience store and then following her to Ames, Iowa, where she was attending college. At the time of his arrest, police said Brodnicki told them he wanted to impregnate the woman and would do so no matter the circumstances.
Brodnicki pleaded guilty to cyberstalking and was again sentenced, this time in May 2010, to three years in prison. Authorities said Brodnicki likely got credit for time served before his plea, explaining why he was out of prison and apparently free to travel to California.
In her request for the protective order, Gomez said he had been told by authorities that Brodnicki traveled from Chicago to Los Angeles to meet her and that he said he's had conversations with God about killing the actress.
In court documents, Gomez said she feared Brodnicki "will harm them in his attempts to see me or to harm or kill me."
The 19-year-old "Monte Carlo" and "Wizards of Waverly Place" star and girlfriend of teen heartthrob Justin Bieber told the court, which issued the temporary restraining order Oct. 13, that Brodnicki visited her workplace at least three times.
-- Jennifer Delgado of the Chicago Tribune, and Times Community News
Photo: (left) Thomas Brodnicki Credit: Des Plaines Police Department. Photo: (right) Selena Gomez arrives at the MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles in August. Credit: Chris Pizzello / Associated Press.