By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A Pasadena man was sentenced Monday to more than three years in federal prison for his “horrendous” threats to harm, rape, and kill women he met through work or at networking events.

Samuel Trelawney Hughes, a 33-year-old British national, was sentenced to 37 months in federal prison. He had pleaded guilty in October of last year to one count each of stalking, witness tampering, and making threats by interstate communication.

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Judge Dale S. Fischer, who handed down Hughes’ sentence, described his conduct as “horrendous.”

Prosecutors say Hughes usually met his victims – usually women — through his work or through a networking event. After the event or the job, he would contact his target through email or a social media account, often inviting them out for dates. If rejected, Hughes would then send anonymous threats, including one October 2019 instance in which he wrote “someone I can guarantee will come out and first bash you[r] head in, rape you slash your throat and burn your car and house,” according to court documents.

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The messages — which prosecutors described as graphic and disturbing threats to injure, rape, and kill — were sent via various email and social media accounts, as well as through the U.S. mail.

Hughes was contacted by both federal and state law enforcement officers several times about the threats, but prosecutors say he continued to send the messages, and in some cases, threatened the injury or death of the victim or the victim’s family members. The threats traumatized the victims, some of whom who became afraid to go to work or even leave their homes.

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[Hughes] used his computer skills to terrorize these victims and their families with harassment and death threats from anonymized accounts,” prosecutors said in a sentencing memorandum. “His use of anonymizing techniques and planning allowed him to avoid identification – and punishment – for months while he continued his online harassment campaigns.”