New York Man Charged With Stalking Rep. Kyrsten Sinema - NBC Connecticut
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New York Man Charged With Stalking Rep. Kyrsten Sinema

Defendant pleads not guilty to federal charge

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Accused Stalker Caused Security Scare on Capitol Hill

    A man accused of stalking a congresswoman for years caused a security scare when he showed up at her office in Washington Friday. Scott MacFarlane has the latest on the story he broke this week. (Published Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018)

    U.S. Capitol Police arrested a suspected stalker outside the Washington, D.C., office of Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz.

    According to a special agent’s affidavit, officers arrested Amos Olagunju at Sinema’s seventh floor office in the Longworth House Office Building Friday. The affidavit said Olagunju has menaced Sinema since 2014, despite warnings from U.S. Capitol Police and two court-ordered injunctions that he not contact her.

    The court filing from U.S. Capitol Police said the congresswoman’s staffers called police Friday to report “Olagunju had arrived in-person at their office and stated he had a meeting with the congresswoman.” Police arrested him for violating the court-ordered injunction.

    The court filing said Olagunju’s attempts to contact Sinema included 95 attempts to reach and “express his love” for the congresswoman in the summer of 2014. The affidavit said he made several other attempts to contact the congresswoman in 2015 and 2016, including a series of voicemail messages and by showing up at an April 2016 event in Chandler, Arizona, which Sinema attended.

    According to the affidavit, Olagunju continued to attempt to reach Sinema in later months, sending a package to her campaign office, trying to volunteer for her campaign and calling her Washington office by phone in November 2017.

    The police affidavit said Olagunju is from Brooklyn, New York, and was served with an injunction to stop contacting Sinema by the New York Police Department in July 2017. Court filings show Olagunju was arrested previously in New York for traffic offenses.

    A Facebook page belonging to a user named Amos Olagunju includes a series of posts in 2015 about Rep. Sinema. Some of the postings, which remained publicly available Tuesday afternoon, included messages to Sinema. One posting said, “Do you know you’re killing me with your love? I have to see your face. I cannot sleep without you. Show me your love spiritually and physically.”

    Another Facebook post said, “I believe by this time next year, you will be carrying our baby in Jesus name (Amen).”

    The Capitol Police affidavit said Olagunju wrote posts on Sinema’s Facebook page, including a post in which he called himself her “husband to be.”

    A federal law enforcement official told the News4 I-Team Olagunju entered a not guilty plea to a federal charge of stalking at a hearing Tuesday in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Last year, he pleaded guilty to violating a different court order to stay away from Sinema, according to court records.

    On Friday, a judge ruled he remain in custody until trial.

    Sinema’s office declined to comment, referring inquiries to police.

    "We are in consistent contact with Capitol Police on all matters of member security but will refer you to them for any more information on this incident,” U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan's office said in a statement to News4.

    A U.S. Capitol Police spokeswoman declined to comment about the arrest or whether Olagunju was on a “be-on-the-lookout” list available to officers who staff the checkpoints at congressional office buildings.

    Olagunju’s attorney said it's too early in the case to comment.