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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Former Gonzaga law student suspected of sending graphic, threatening emails to fellow students and dean

UPDATED: Thu., March 18, 2021

Spokane police are investigating a former Gonzaga University law student who they suspect sent bigoted and threatening emails to several students and the dean of the law school in 2019, according to court documents.

Police think the suspect used another law student’s name to create a fake email account. Students reported the suspect had also spoken about rounding students up to shoot in the head and, on numerous occasions, his “desire to eat people” in an Aztec “soup that includes human flesh,” according to a search warrant filed in the Spokane County Superior Court Monday.

On Sept. 7, 2019, a female law student received a link to a porn video and a proposition for sex from the account, the documents say.

On Sept. 11, 2019, between 8 p.m. and 3:40 a.m., a slew of similar emails from the same email address reached other law students, including the suspect himself.

An Asian American law student received emails calling him racial and sexual slurs, according to the documents.

A second female student received a link to a pornographic video with a misogynistic message.

She told investigators she was afraid because the suspect had previously, “expressed violent thoughts, not far of a stretch from a school shooter,” the documents say.

A third female student reported getting an “abusive and racist” email . A fourth female student received another porn link, according to the warrant.

More than a month later, 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.

Rooksby told Gonzaga investigators that the email address included the name of a student he knew, though it did not match the email address that student had previously used to email him. When Rooksby contacted the student named in the email address, the postgraduate said other people had also received threatening emails from an account with his name, according to court documents.

Believing his student, Rooksby told Gonzaga internal investigators he was even more afraid as he believed the sender of the email was still at large, the documents say.

“I took it as a threat on my family’s lives,” Rooksby told investigators.

According to the student whose name was in the email address, the suspect admitted to sending the emails Oct. 26, five days after Rooksby received the threat to his family.

The suspect later told Gozaga investigators he might have sent some emails and that he often blacked out due to a vitamin B deficiency, according to court documents.

Regarding the email sent to Rooksby, he told the school’s investigators “I am fairly certain I sent that one,” the warrant says.

One female student was so fearful on campus after receiving emails that she could no longer walk to her car alone, she told investigators.

Though she’d never talked to the suspect, she said after an email to her became common knowledge, the suspected student walked into the class where she was seated and stood in front of her for a few moments, “just staring” at her, before taking a seat, the warrant says.

Spokane police received permission from a judge this week to search email accounts relevant to the case. The suspect has not been charged and was not on the Spokane County Jail Roster as of Tuesday evening.

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