Pop superstar Madonna's latest stalker, retired firefighter Robert Linhart, got sentenced on Wednesday, January 2 by Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Laura Ward to three years' probation for resisting arrest. The 61-year-old former NYC firefighter was convicted after being arrested twice back in September 2010, after stalking the Material Girl outside her Manhattan apartment.
Police arrested Linhart after he hung around in his SUV outside Madonna's NY apartment and spray-painted love notes on poster boards. The poster boards read, "The Universe brought us together in 1992 and again this year in Prague. Meet me please." The "Like a Virgin" singer's security then contacted the cops, who made the arrest on charges of graffiti after Linhart defaced a sidewalk.
A few days after being released, he returned to the same spot and got arrested for a second time. Linhart was consequently charged and convicted but only on a single count of resisting arrest, which his lawyers continued to dispute as Linhart reportedly merely reacted to the pain from a broken rotator cuff he suffered during the first arrest.
The controversial pop star would have wanted her stalker to be put in prison but Linhart escaped jail time and was charged only with probation by Judge Ward on grounds argued by his lawyer, Lawrence LaBrew, "Mr. Linhart served with the New York City Fire Department for 20 years. He put his life on the line for the citizens of New York."
Although LaBrew defended his client's probation sentence by saying it was not a crime to idolize a celebrity, the judge on the case sentenced Linhart to 3 years' probation and also ordered him to attend anger management sessions.
The conviction is currently under appeal. "I don't feel the same about her," Linhart professed. "The woman advocates free speech in Russia and then she has her security violate my right to free speech."