Kentucky Prosecutor Vows to Hold Culprits Accountable for Threatening Covington Catholic Teens
The investigations could take weeks or months, but Kenton County prosecutor Rob Sanders wants the culprits who made terroristic threats against Covington Catholic High School students held accountable. Sanders said Wednesday that his office has already issued grand jury subpoenas and is working on search warrants for detectives in other agencies.
The school was closed on Tuesday due to security concerns and reopened on Wednesday under close police supervision.
The students were accused of mocking Native American activist Nathan Phillips outside the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., after the March for Life on Friday, spurring a frenzy that resulted in threats coming from across the country by phone, email, and social media.
According to Fox19, "some of the social media threats to the school and students have been extreme. One person called to burn the school down and fire on the MAGA hat-wearing students on sight."
And on Wednesday afternoon, authorities responded to a report of a suspicious package outside the Diocese of Covington's Madison Avenue chancery. After police cleared the scene, investigators said they would continue to evaluate the threat. The package, which came in the mail, had nothing explosive inside, according to authorities.
“A lot of people are reaching out to us saying, ‘Why hasn’t anyone been arrested yet?’ It’s not a quick process,” Sanders explained.
He said he has over a dozen threats that he finds associated with a credible person and their intention to do the school or its students harm.
“I am confident that before this is all over some people are going to be held accountable for what they said," he said.
During an appearance on Fox News' The Ingraham Angle Wednesday night, Sanders said the criminal offense that would apply in these cases would be "terroristic threat in the second degree."
"That's anytime someone threatens death or violence against an educational institution in Kentucky or any student in the educational institution in connection with the school function. That is a Class D felony, " Sanders explained. "It's one to five years in the state penitentiary -- that could rise to five to ten years in a class C felony if the person threatens that violence or death in connection to an educational institution and the use of a device of mass destruction or weapon of mass destruction."
Sanders noted that because most of the threats have been appearing on social media, the situation is "more complicated."
"There's a number of misdemeanors that could apply in a lot of these cases, but we can't reach across state lines and extradite," he explained, noting that the violators would have to come back to Kentucky before they could ever arrest them.