- The Washington Times - Friday, May 1, 2009

NEW YORK — A Georgia man who told police he and Tyra Banks “had a thing together” was convicted Thursday of stalking the supermodel-turned-TV host.

Brady Green, 39, of Dublin, Ga., was convicted by Manhattan Criminal Court Judge James Burke, who heard the case without a jury, of stalking, harassment, criminal trespass and attempted aggravated harassment.

Judge Burke handed down his verdict the day after Miss Banks testified that she feared for her safety. The judge said he found that Mr. Green had been “hounding” Banks.

However, Judge Burke said he would not send Mr. Green to jail. He told defense lawyer Jeffrey Berman to help his client get psychiatric counseling and a job in “a location where he can thrive.”

That “likely will not be the city of New York,” the judge said.

Mr. Berman said he was disappointed with the verdict and planned an appeal but was glad the judge did not send his client to jail. Mr. Green had faced up to 90 days in jail at sentencing on June 18.

Miss Banks testified Wednesday that she feared for her safety, and for that of her staff and family.

Authorities said Mr. Green, 39, repeatedly called Miss Banks’ studio, showed up there, and sent her flowers and letters. They said he also threatened to slit the throat of a staffer who refused to tell him where to find Banks’ TV studio.

Mr. Green was arrested March 18, 2008, at a McDonald’s restaurant near Miss Banks’ studio in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. He told officers he and Miss Banks “had a thing together,” police said.

Miss Banks said she was about to leave the studio that day when her staff warned her about Mr. Green. She said they had previously shown her Mr. Green’s photograph, told her he had threatened one of her employees and was “somebody I should watch out for.”

The former Sports Illustrated cover girl said she told officers at the scene that she was scared.

“I didn’t know what to do. How do I live my life when I leave this building? I had never experienced anything like this before,” she said.

Calm and smiling frequently as she testified, Miss Banks said security “has changed significantly” around her and her workplaces because of Mr. Green.

She said that her company has hired more security staff and that her studio audiences are vetted more thoroughly. Banks said she is now followed everywhere by security guards, even when she runs and exercises outdoors. Even though she is a public person, “I don’t live that kind of sheltered, protected life,” she said. “I like to walk around.”

Mr. Green testified that Miss Banks’ shows on racism and homelessness had moved him and he wanted to contact her. He said his attempts to get tickets for her show had been misunderstood.

He also said he never threatened Miss Banks, never intended to scare her and never tried to date her.

Assistant District Attorney Sean McMahon got Mr. Green to admit that he rode a bus for four days from Los Angeles to New York, where he had no friends, relatives and no job, and that the first he thing he did was go to the building that houses Miss Banks’ studio.

Miss Banks is executive producer and host of two popular TV shows, “America’s Next Top Model” and “The Tyra Banks Show.”

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