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Convicted Shawn Johnson stalker gets 5 years in mental facility

July 13, 2010 | 10:44 am

A man convicted of stalking Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson was sentenced Tuesday to five years at a state mental facility.

Prosecutors alleged that Robert M. O'Ryan made his way from the Jacksonville, Fla., area to try to meet Johnson, whom he had an "obsessive desire to marry,'' and that he would do anything possible to accomplish that goal.

During the trial, Deputy Dist. Atty. Wendy Segall showed Johnson a series of weapons, including a shotgun and a large knife, recovered from O'Ryan's car after he was arrested when he jumped the fence last year at CBS Studios, where Johnson was taping the TV show "Dancing with the Stars."

After seeing the weapons and a series of photos that were in O'Ryan's possession, Johnson testified, "It made me feel really scared."

O'Ryan said in a taped interview with L.A. police detectives that he "never harmed anyone" but would use the guns, zip ties and electrical tape in his car to protect Johnson.

"She is a very important person ... and if I had opportunity to protect her, I would," O'Ryan said in the interview.

O'Ryan said he first began hearing the voice of Johnson, whom he nicknamed Sturdy Girl, while watching the Beijing Olympics on TV.

O'Ryan told Det. Jose Viramontes he communicated with celebrities using telepathy. He told detectives he had children with both male and female celebrities.

-- Richard Winton

Photo: Shawn Johnson. Credit: Los Angeles Times