LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A federal grand jury today returned a 26-count indictment that charges a Pasadena man with making a series of detailed threats to harm, rape and kill 10 victims he met in various social and business settings.
Samuel Trelawney Hughes, 31, a citizen of the United Kingdom, was charged with seven counts of stalking, nine counts of making online threats, three counts of mailing threatening communications, and seven counts of witness tampering, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
He is scheduled to be arraigned on the indictment in federal court in downtown Los Angeles on Aug. 13.
The indictment alleges that Hughes -- sometimes using his real name, and other times using aliases or social media accounts designed to conceal his true identity -- sent his victims communications in which he expressed hope they would die or in which he made specific threats to harm them.
For example, in October, after one victim reported prior threats from Hughes to law enforcement authorities, Hughes allegedly sent the victim an email stating in part: “someone I can guarantee will come out and first bash you head in, rape you slash your throat and burn your car and house.''
Hughes allegedly sent another threat that read in part: “I will rip your f****** throat out and stab you in the eyes and put gasoline over your half mutilated body.''
Court documents state that Hughes used nearly 10 online aliases and handles.
The FBI began investigating Hughes in May 2019 after one victim filed a complaint with the Internet Crimes Complaint Center.
“After being contacted by both the FBI and state law enforcement officers on multiple occasions regarding the threatening communications, Hughes continued to send electronic communications and letters threatening to injure, rape, or kill at least three of the victims who had reported his threats to the police,'' according to a criminal complaint previously filed in the case. “In his communications to some victims, Hughes threatened that contacting the police would lead to the injury or death of the victim or the victims' loved ones.''
As a result of separate investigations, Hughes was arrested by the Los Angeles Police Department and the Pasadena Police Department on two occasions in June, which resulted in charges being filed by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office and the Pasadena City Attorney's Office. Federal prosecutors filed a criminal complaint against Hughes on July 10, and he was taken into custody from state authorities on July 24. Hughes has been in federal custody since that time.
The stalking counts and the charges stemming from the alleged threats all carry a maximum penalty of up to five years in federal prison. The witness tampering counts each carry a maximum possible penalty of 20 years in prison.