Jersey man arrested for allegedly threatening Obama on Facebook

A man who believed that President Obama had slept with his fiancee and then announced it in a nationally televised speech was charged Thursday with threatening the president's life.

Federal prosecutors say William Peterman Jr., 33, of Medford Lakes and Beaufort, S.C., posted two death threats on his Facebook page last week, including one addressed to "President Barack Hussein Obama II" that stated "I will kill you."

According to court filings, Peterman later told U.S. Secret Service agents that he believed Obama admitted the affair during his Jan. 10 farewell speech in Chicago. In doing so, Peterman allegedly told agents that the president had given him "permission to kill him."

"I typed the words and posted them," he said, according to his arrest affidavit. "He [Obama] wronged me. He got sex for himself."

Authorities released few details about Peterman's life. On his Facebook page, he said he was born in East Norriton and had attended The College of New Jersey. He recently complained about his inability to get a job as a bank teller despite having a license as a certified public accountant.

But his prolific posting also revealed a man fixated on the president, psychiatric care and a woman who he believed that God had chosen to be his bride - the same woman he would later accuse Obama of stealing away. In one Jan. 8 post, he announced he had scheduled their wedding for Friday and booked a reception at a Reading hotel.

One of the woman's coworkers said Thursday that she had never met Peterman before he showed up at her office several months ago screaming her name. She was horrified, the coworker said, when Peterman later began inviting the woman's friends and family to their purported wedding.

Peterman pleaded guilty last year to stalking charges involving another victim in Burlington County, according to court filings. He was in custody on a probation violation in that case when Secret Service agents caught up to him Jan. 12.

It was not immediately clear whether Peterman had retained an attorney. He remains in federal custody.

If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison.

jroebuck@phillynews.com

215-854-2608

@jeremyrroebuck

Continue Reading