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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Police arrest Gonzaga law student suspected of sending sexual, racist, threatening emails

Police arrested a Gonzaga law student Tuesday who is accused of sending threatening emails to several students and the dean of the law school in 2019.

Sgt. John O’Brien said 29-year-old Keith Opsal was arrested around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Gonzaga campus on suspicion of felony harassment and cyberstalking, with an enhancement for sexual motivation that could lengthen his sentence if convicted.

During September and October of 2019, police suspect Opsal impersonated another law student with an email address in that student’s name before sending a series of threatening emails to several students, according to a search warrant filed in the Spokane County Superior Court March 15.

The emails included racial slurs, links to pornography and sexual insults, according to the court documents.

Finally, on Oct. 21, Jacob Rooksby, Dean of Gonzaga’s law school, received an email that threatened harm to one of his family members, the documents say.

Students also told Gonzaga investigators that Opsal had spoken about rounding students up to shoot in the head and, several times, his “desire to eat people,” the search warrant said.

Opsal was still in Spokane County Jail as of Tuesday evening.

Consequences resulting from the Gonzaga internal investigation were unclear in the search warrant, though the suspect was attending classes in 2021.

Mary Joan Hahn, spokesperson for Gonzaga, declined to comment, citing privacy laws that protect student information.

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