A man who police say had guns, duct tape and love letters in his car when he tried to jump a security fence in an attempt to meet "Dancing With the Stars" contestant Shawn Johnson pleaded not guilty Thursday to stalking and other charges.
Robert O'Ryan was arrested Tuesday at the studio where the ABC show is produced. Authorities say they found loaded guns, duct tape and love letters in a car he drove from Florida to meet Johnson, a 17-year-old Olympic gymnast.
The 34-year-old O'Ryan was charged Thursday with one felony count of stalking and two misdemeanor counts of carrying a loaded gun in a vehicle. Wearing a red shirt and khaki pants, with long brown hair to his waist and a beard, O'Ryan tried to hide behind his attorney as he was arraigned in Los Angeles Superior Court.
His bail was raised from $35,000 to $220,000, and a trial date of April 27 was set.
Public defender Dwight Corum represented him in court, though records did not indicate whether he had been assigned a lawyer beyond Thursday.
A restraining order requested by Johnson's parents said she was "in fear of her life" and was issued Wednesday against O'Ryan. A statement by Johnson's mother, Teri, states that she was told by police that O'Ryan believed he was meant to have a child with her daughter.
If convicted, O'Ryan could face up to four years in prison.
Johnson, of West Des Moines, Iowa, won one gold and three silver medals at the Beijing Olympics and is one of the remaining celebrity contestants on ABC's "Dancing With the Stars."
"Shawn is 17, but she is mature and is feeling very comfortable and confident because she feels that everyone has handled this matter quickly and efficiently across the board," Johnson's attorney, Phillip Cohen, said after the arraignment. He said she is back at practice on "Dancing With the Stars."
Associated Press Writer Lorinda Toledo contributed to this report.
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