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Eugene man who terrorized college professor gets four years in prison

File photo of the Wayne L. Morse United States Courthouse in Eugene, Ore.
M.O. Stevens
File photo of the Wayne L. Morse United States Courthouse in Eugene, Ore.

A Eugene man who ran a white supremacist website and sent letters that terrorized a community college professor was sentenced on Monday in federal court to four years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release.

Gary Edward Franklin, 58, pleaded guilty on Jan. 4 to two counts of threatening communications by mail.

Franklin targeted a community college professor in part because of her sexual orientation, the U.S. Department of Justice stated in court documents. But the acts were not considered hate crimes because the letters amounted to threats and did not “willfully cause bodily injury,” as the federal statute requires.

Years after taking her class, Franklin sent two letters to the community college professor, identified only as “AV1.”

One included a picture of a dismembered woman’s body.

Like the college professor, the woman in the picture was a member of the LGBTQ+ community, according to the Justice Department.

The letter, on which state police later found Franklin’s fingerprints, stated, “What I’d like to do to you.”

Under the photo, Franklin wrote, “Don’t think for a second that I forgot about you.”

When the FBI searched Franklin’s home, they found weapons and books on death, torture and sexually motivated killings. They also found evidence he ran a white supremacy website.

Franklin has a long history of mental illness without the appropriate treatment, according to records filed by his defense attorney.

This article will be updated.

Copyright 2022 Oregon Public Broadcasting. To see more, visit Oregon Public Broadcasting.