Local Couple Testifies In Pitt Bomb Threat Case
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A local couple testified in front of a federal grand jury Tuesday as part of an investigating into the recent string of bomb threats at the University of Pittsburgh.
A transgender couple from Johnstown was subpoenaed to appear Tuesday. They said they are not responsible for the bomb threats and feel that they were targeted because of a dispute with Pitt’s Johnstown campus.
Katherine Anne McCluskey was born a man, but now lives as a woman. Her partner, Seamus Johnston, who was born a woman, but now lives as a man, filed a lawsuit after a dispute over which bathroom and locker room Johnston should use.
Although they brought computer equipment with them in their car, they said they would not turn it over or go through fingerprinting or submit writing samples without a warrant.
“We have nothing whatsoever to do with the bomb threats. That’s not something either of us would ever do for any reason – even make a crank call let alone a bomb threat. We hope that the person or persons that are responsible are caught. I think this is retaliation from the university for filing a lawsuit against them,” McCluskey said.
As Federal Judge Nora Barry Fischer was being asked to consider a warrant issue behind closed doors, Johnston was summoned to see the judge.
After leaving judge’s chambers, Johnston said the judge ordered that Johnston provide fingerprint and handwriting samples.
Johnston claimed judge would not reveal the affidavit for probable cause because it is a grand jury matter.
McCluskey and Johnston’s testimony before grand jury was very limited, dealing mostly with the fingerprint and handwriting samples.
A tentative deal has been worked out whereby both will comply with order to provide handwriting and fingerprint samples.
The decision to comply came under the threat of a contempt of court citation.
A future hearing will determine whether they will continue testimony before the grand jury.
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