Accused allegedly told the Indian American congresswoman to go back to India and threatened to kill her
A Seattle man has been sentenced to 364 days in King County Jail after he pleaded guilty to stalking Indian American US Rep. Pramila Jayapal in King County Superior Court, according to media reports.
Brett Forsell, 49 was originally arrested on malicious harassment charges last July following an incident outside Jayapalâ€™s home in West Seattle.
At the time, Jayapal and her husband said they heard men screaming expletives directed at them and telling the Congresswoman to â€œgo back to India.â€ They told Seattle Police a similar incident had happened about a week before.
When Forsell was arraigned last year, he pled â€œnot guiltyâ€ to charges of felony stalking. During Thursdayâ€™s appearance in King County Superior Court, Forsell pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of misdemeanor stalking. He then admitted to harassing the Representative.
READ: Indian American lawmaker Pramila Jayapal gets threatening calls (September 9, 2022)
Forsell was released four days after his original arrest last July because police couldnâ€™t say with certainty that he told the congresswoman to go back to India or that he had threatened to kill her, the Seattle Times reported,
King County prosecutors later charged Forsell with repeatedly harassing and intimidating Jayapal, who feared the man wanted to hurt or kill her, the Times reported.
Jayapal represents Washingtonâ€™s 7th Congressional District and became the first Indian American woman elected to the US House of Representatives in 2016. She was born in India and moved to the US at 16.
Forsell was arrested with a loaded .40-caliber handgun holstered on his waist. Neighbors also reported hearing Forsellâ€™s verbal attack and saw him try to erect a tent across the street from Jayapalâ€™s house.
While in custody, camera footage recorded Forsell saying he was going to keep coming back to Jayapalâ€™s house until, in his words, she â€œgoes back to India,â€ according to prosecutors.
According to charging papers, Jayapal told detectives Forsellâ€™s behavior scared her because it was reminiscent of the anger and vitriol she experienced Jan 6, 2021, when insurgents attacked the US Capitol in a failed attempt to stop the certification of President Joe Bidenâ€™s election.
Forsell was ordered to have no contact with Jayapal and was prohibited from possessing firearms for eight years, among other stipulations.