Man charged for threatening Los Angeles reporter
- Reporter Anita Busch awoke June 20, 2002, to find her car vandalized with a cardboard sign on it that read ‘Stop.’
March 26, 2003 — Alexander Proctor, 59, was charged with criminal threat by the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office March 17 for his alleged actions against Los Angeles Times reporter Anita Busch.
On June 20, 2002, Busch found her car windshield broken. She also found a dead fish, a rose and a cardboard sign that read ‘Stop’ on her car.
Busch told officials she thought the incident was related to her investigation of an extortion plot against actor Steven Seagal.
The Times published several stories during the summer of 2002 about the arrest of Seagal’s former business partner, Julius Nasso, for his alleged role in a multimillion-dollar extortion scheme against Seagal.
According to court documents, Proctor implicated himself in the threat against Busch during tape-recorded conversations with an informant working for the FBI. Proctor told the informant he had been hired by Anthony Pellicano, a private investigator, to carry out the threat. Proctor told the informant he was working for Pellicano on Seagal’s behalf.
Proctor currently is being held on federal charges of conspiracy to distribute cocaine. After those charges are finalized, he will be released into the custody of Los Angeles County officials. No arraignment has been scheduled for the criminal threat charges. Proctor faces up to three years in prison if convicted.
“I’m very pleased the district attorney’s office is pursuing the case, because it is ultimately about the right of a reporter to freely and vigorously pursue a story without being subjected to intimidation,” Busch said in a prepared statement.
Busch has been a contract reporter with the Times since June 2002.
© 2003 The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press