(Photo: REUTERS / Mario Anzuoni)
A 46-year-old man from Illinois pleaded not guilty on Thursday for purportedly stalking teen actress and singer Selena Gomez, famed girlfriend of Justin Bieber.
Los Angeles County prosecutors accused Thomas Brodnicki of stalking the 19-year-old star between the months of July and October and asked that a judge provide Gomez with a protective order.
Gomez reported being in “extreme fear” of Brodnicki after discovering he had a history of stalking as well as a mental illness, according to the BBC.
The man had allegedly told a psychiatrist that he traveled from Chicago to Los Angeles just to meet Gomez, whereupon he visited her work a few times. He also revealed that had conversations with God about killing the “Monte Carlo” actress as well.
Worried that her parents or her assistant would be harmed in Brodnicki’s attempts to visit her, Gomez asked the court for a restraining order.
In response to the request, the Los Angeles Times reported that Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Upinder Kalra granted a three-year protective order for the actress, which would keep Brodnicki at least 100 yards away from Gomez, her parents and her assistant.
The judge also set bail for the man at $150,000.
In previous charges, Brodnicki was arrested in 2003 for stalking a waitress at a Des Plaines restaurant, according to the Times. He was found unfit for trial in 2007 and committed to a mental health facility.
A year later, he was finally convicted and sentenced to three years in prison, though it remained unclear how much time he actually served.
In May 2010, he was convicted again for cyberstalking a woman in 2008, receiving a three-year sentence. He, however, was released again due to time already served before his plea, authorities shared, thus leading to his next episode with Gomez.
A temporary restraining order was given to him on Oct. 13 when it was revealed that he had visited the “Wizards of Waverly Place” star’s workplace on three occasions.
Thursday’s restraining order prohibits Brodnicki from going near Gomez for the next three years.
If he is found guilty of stalking again, Brodnicki may face another three years in prison.
While Gomez may feel relief from the latest incident, her boyfriend Justin Bieber remains in some trouble of his own with recent rumors that he impregnated a woman three years older than him.
Mariah Yeater filed a paternity suit against Bieber earlier this week and claimed she had sexual relations with the singer backstage at his Staples Center concert in October 2010, leading to the birth of their alleged son.
Bieber is denying all claims and ignoring the rumors, focusing “on what is real,” he tweeted.