Mon, 07 Mar 2005


Gibson stalker found guilty

A religious fanatic who hounded Mel Gibson after the release of the movie The Passion of the Christ was found guilty of stalking Friday and could face up to three years in jail.

The jury in the case reached a verdict in just three hours after a four-day trial in which Gibson testified that Zack Sinclair, 34, had made him fear for the safety of his family.

Prosecutors said the religious movie, which Gibson directed, had convinced Sinclair that he was on a mission from God to pray with the Hollywood movie star.

The judge set a sentencing hearing for Thursday.

Gibson's testified that Sinclair, who started stalking him in September 2004 when he sat in Gibson's seat in church and said "Hi, I'm here to pray with you."

Sinclair subsequently ignored a restraining order to stay away from Gibson and was placed under arrest.

"My wife was upset and worried. She didn't want to find him in the living room drinking tea," Gibson said. "This young man doesn't appear to know his boundaries. I think he needs some help." --DPA