Police believe a man found not guilty of stalking Gwyneth Paltrow is still a danger to the actress.
Dante Soiu was cleared of felony stalking Wednesday – almost 16 years after he was found not guilty of the same offence by reason of insanity – because the jury had doubts that he intended to frighten the Avengers actress, but Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officers were reportedly surprised by the verdict.
A source with direct knowledge of the man told TMZ they think Soiu is still a threat to the actress because he has shown signs of mental instability over a period of years and has a “dangerous obsession” with Gwyneth.
LAPD officials are now planning to meet with prosecutors to find out why he wasn’t convicted and how to strengthen any future case against him.
After the first time he was found not guilty, Soiu was sent to a mental institution for several years. However, after his release he was accused of sending the actress up to 66 letters between 2009 and 2015, which she found “disturbing.”
Gwyneth testified in court that he had sent her letters and packages dating back to 1999, containing pornography, earrings and a statement that he wanted to “excise her sin with a scalpel.”
She explained: “I felt very upset by it. This has been a very long and very traumatic experience already.”
He also said he wanted to marry her.
However, while his lawyer admitted the defendant had written to Gwyneth, he insisted that recent letters hadn’t included pornography.
Soiu testified that his most recent letters concerned “a matter of seeking forgiveness” and his lawyer Lynda Westlund, said she believed the jury had made the right decision.
She said: “He just needed the right medication. He is completely lucid. He’s unique. He’s special. But… he’s very cogent.”