La Crosse pastor resigns after threatening email is sent from his account


A Lutheran pastor in Wisconsin has resigned after being accused of sending an expletive-filled email in which he threatened to gang rape a Milwaukee-area activist and blogger over a post she wrote that criticized police.

Rev. David Wendt of First Evangelical Lutheran Church in La Crosse resigned Tuesday, a spokesman for the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod told the Journal Sentinel.

His resignation came a day after blogger Claire Van Fossen posted the email on Facebook and Twitter. Wendt has said the email address in question is his, but he has denied sending the email, the La Crosse Tribune reports. (To read the email click here, but note it contains very strong, graphic language.)

Van Fossen told the Journal Sentinel, which hosts her independent blog on its website, that the threat sent from Wendt's email account was the "most extreme" of the many responses she received about her blog post titled "A just and free world means a world without police."

Most of the anger directed towards Van Fossen was due to the timing of her post, which said police departments do "more harm than good," reports note. It was published one day after 21-year-old Wisconsin State Trooper Trevor Casper was shot and killed by a bank robber in Fond du Lac.

She said she had been working on the post for a few weeks and it wasn't timed to Caper's killing, the Journal Sentinel notes.

Wendt asked the Onalaska Police Department Monday to investigate the incident, reports note. He was told to bring his computer into the station for analysis. As of Tuesday night, he hadn't done so, the La Crosse Tribune reports.

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