Kara Berg Lansing State Journal
Published 4:05 PM EDT Aug 28, 2019
EAST LANSING — Two Michigan State students have been charged with making a terrorism threat against the president of the university.
Jennifer Spicer, 20, and her boyfriend Rami Souguir, 18, are accused of creating a post on Reddit that threatened President Samuel Stanley, Jr. said Chris Wickman, Souguir's attorney.
They were charged with making a false report or threat of terrorism and using a computer to commit a crime. Spicer, of Marrero, Louisiana, and Souguir, of Ann Arbor, are both freshman computer science majors.
Souguir put the post up as a joke, thinking people would take it that way, Wickman said. Once he realized people took it seriously, he quickly deleted the post, he said.
Wickman said the post was something that seems to have been done out of immaturity, not a desire to harm anyone.
"The prosecutor is going to have to show intent, that he intended to terrorize someone," Wickman said. "That's going to be hard."
East Lansing District Court Judge Andrea Larkin ordered the pair have no contact with Stanley or his family. They are also banned from MSU's campus.
Stanley became MSU president earlier this year.
“It is unfortunate when these situations arise,” Stanley said in a statement provided by spokesperson Emily Guerrant. “The safety of our campus, and the care we show for each individual person on it, remains a top priority. We cannot have a safe and caring campus and tolerate threats being made against our community."
Spicer and Souguir are accused of making the threat on Monday and were charged Tuesday, according to court records. Spicer did not have an attorney listed in court records.
They were released from the Ingham County Jail Tuesday, each on a $10,000 personal recognizance bond, MSU Police spokesman Capt. Doug Monette said.
"We do not feel that there is currently a threat to the community," Monette said.
He declined to say anything further about the charges, citing the open and ongoing investigation.
Wickman said it's telling that Monette believes there's no threat to campus. He said Larkin was open to lifting the ban if MSU seeks to allow the students to continue taking classes.
"He was very excited to attend MSU," Wickman said.
If convicted, they each face up to 20 years in prison.
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Contact reporter Kara Berg at 517-377-1113 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @karaberg95.