(KRT)

NEW YORK – An unemployed computer technician obsessed with child pornography threatened in a flurry of e-mails to kill NBC News anchorman Tom Brokaw, Staten Island prosecutors charge.

The stately newsman seemed agitated Friday when he spoke about the threats outside his home on Park Avenue.

“I’m a public person … but this is my home,” said an annoyed Brokaw, who was also targeted during the 2001 anthrax attacks. “It’s in the hands of the authorities. I have nothing more to say.”

Steven Koplan, 46, of St. George, Staten Island, bombarded cable network MSNBC with some 3,500 e-mails last fall, including 13 notes threatening to either hurt Brokaw or take his life, said a spokesman for Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan.

Only one of the charges in the 66-count indictment relates to the Brokaw threats. The other charges relate to child pornography that city cops say they found on Koplan’s home computer, law enforcement sources said.

The entire indictment will be unsealed at Koplan’s arraignment on Wednesday in Staten Island Supreme Court.

In a rambling, hourlong interview in the doorway of his neat, one-bedroom apartment, Koplan admitted he deluged MSNBC with e-mails. But he stressed that he holds no bitterness against Brokaw.

Koplan said he launched the e-mail barrage when law enforcement officials in New York and Atlanta failed to respond to his complaints that a contractor had billed him $6,000 for a kitchen renovation that was, he said, shoddy and left unfinished.

“I was in fear for my life and the people in the building,” Koplan said. “I wanted (MSNBC) to know I was in fear.”

A law enforcement source said Koplan was offered a plea deal that asked him to spend six months in a psychiatric facility. But he turned it down because his attorney wanted to cross-examine Brokaw on the witness stand, the source said.

The lawyer did not return calls for comment. NBC spokeswoman Barbara Levin also declined to speak about the case.

Police arrested Koplan in March and he pleaded innocent to the aggravated assault charge. Koplan said he was unaware of the lengthy indictment.

He admitted there was pornography on his computer, but said it was legal.



(New York Daily News correspondent Jonathan Lemire contributed to this report.)



(c) 2004, New York Daily News.

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Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services.

AP-NY-08-06-04 2224EDT



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