|FILE - In this Nov. 6, 2011 file photo, Selena Gomez poses on the red carpet at the MTV European Music Awards 2011, in Belfast, Northern Ireland. A judge on Wednesday, Nov. 16, dismissed a stalking charge against Thomas Brodnicki, who has a history of mental illness and was accused of threatening the Disney star while on a psychiatric hold. (AP Photo/Joel Ryan, file)|
Case tossed against accused Selena Gomez stalker
LOS ANGELES—A judge on Wednesday dismissed a criminal case against a man charged with stalking Selena Gomez, saying he did not believe prosecutors had shown he intended to cause the actress and singer to be afraid.
The dismissal will free Thomas Broadnicki, 46, who was charged earlier this month with stalking Gomez between July and October.
The starlet was not present for Wednesday's preliminary hearing during which a prosecutor attempted to show there was probable cause for Brodnicki to stand trial.
Brodnicki has a history of mental illness and was being held on $150,000 bail after his arrest on Oct. 31. Mental health workers had notified authorities that he had threatened to kill the starlet while on a psychiatric hold.
"We strenuously objected" to the dismissal, district attorney's spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons said. She said Superior Court Judge Edmund Willcox Clarke Jr. ruled Brodnicki "did not have the intent to cause fear."
Gibbons said the office is evaluating its options, which could include re-filing the case at a later date.
A civil restraining order requiring Brodnicki to stay 100 yards away from Gomez remains in place. A hearing is scheduled for Nov. 23 to determine whether the stay-away order will remain in place for the next three years.
Gomez, 19, wrote in a sworn declaration that she is in "extreme fear" of Brodnicki.
Brodnicki was represented by Deputy Public Defender Nick Stewart-Oaten, who did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment.
Anthony McCartney can be reached at http://twitter.com/mccartneyAP.