CORRECTED: "Priest stalker" of TV host O'Brien apologizes

Tue Apr 8, 2008 7:06pm EDT

Talk show host Conan O'Brien poses with an Emmy Award at the 59th Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, September 16, 2007. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Talk show host Conan O'Brien poses with an Emmy Award at the 59th Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, September 16, 2007.

Credit: Reuters/Lucy Nicholson

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Changes headline to remove stalking plea

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A Boston priest apologized in a New York court on Tuesday for stalking U.S. television host Conan O'Brien and his family and accepted an order to stay away from the comedian's home and office for two years.

The Rev. David Ajemian, 48, a priest in the Archdiocese of Boston, was arrested in November 2007 during a taping of NBC's "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" at New York City's Rockefeller Plaza.

Wearing khakis and a wrinkled overcoat, Ajemian said in court on Tuesday that from September 2006 until his arrest he sent letters, postcards and packages to O'Brien's New York home and to the NBC studio.

In one letter to the comedian, written on parish stationary, Ajemian referred to himself as "your priest stalker" and suggested he could be a guest on O'Brien's show.

"I regret my behavior that caused concern of the people that I was trying to contact," he told reporters.

Ajemian pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of disorderly conduct after prosecutors withdrew charges of aggravated harassment and stalking, misdemeanors that are punishable by up to 90 days in jail. The guilty plea allowed him to avoid a trial.

Ajemian would not comment on what had motivated him to contact the comedian.

He has been placed on leave by the Archdiocese of Boston, which was not immediately available for comment.

(Reporting by Edith Honan; Editing by Michelle Nichols and Eric Walsh)

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