Ex-Kent State professor sentenced to five months in prison for lying to FBI

CLEVELAND-- A former Kent State University professor was sentenced to five months in prison in U.S. District Court Northern District of Ohio on Wednesday.

Julio Pino, 58, of Kent, was also sentenced to three years of supervised release, which includes five months of home confinement during which he can not access the internet without approval from his probation officer.

He was also fined $2,500.

Pino, who was an associate history professor, pleaded guilty to one count of making a false statements to law enforcement in April.

Pino lied to FBI agents about messages he exchanged on Facebook with a St. Louis man under investigation for making threats. He said his decision to lie to FBI agents was “borne out of confusion and fear.”

“I regret making that decision,” Pino said, apologizing to the court. “I want to apologize to the federal government… my family… and the American public who so graciously welcomed me to this country.”

Pino was known for his controversial social media posts and writings during his tenure at Kent State.

Pino had been the focus of a federal investigation into possible ties to ISIS and whether he used his position on campus to influence students to be sympathetic with the terrorist organization. He was not charged in connection with that investigation.

Pino’s attorney, Warner Mendenhall, said Pino resigned from his position with Kent State in May. Mendenhall also said Pino has removed himself from all social media.

“Mr. Pino, despite some of his rhetoric, believes in nonviolent solutions to world problems,” Mendenhall said.

U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman said investigators believe Pino posed a threat to the community.

“This is somebody who is not just anybody off the street, but he is somebody who was a professor at a state university, had a relatively high profile and was sought out by people on the Internet for advice, including in this case, advice on whether or not to kill people,” Herdman said.

Kent State suspended Pino is April when charges were filed.

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