Man gets 18 years in prison for stalking female physicians at California hospitals

A 51-year-old man who was found guilty of stalking female physicians at California VA hospitals was sentenced Oct. 25 to 18 years in federal prison.

United States District Judge John F. Walter sentenced Gueorgui Hristov Pantchev of West Los Angeles, calling him "a menace to society – a description that I don't think I have ever used in describing a criminal defendant," according to a news release from the Justice Department.

Mr. Pantchev began a harassment campaign in 2011 of two physicians — Victims C and D. He sent numerous threatening communications to the physicians, who were affiliated with West Los Angeles VA Medical Center. In 2014, he was convicted of seven counts of stalking and witness intimidation. He served a state prison sentence and was paroled in 2017. 

Barred from the West L.A. VA, Mr. Pantchev moved on to VA Loma Linda (Calif.) Healthcare System, where he began to stalk, harass and intimidate two other female physicians — Victims A and B.

In 2020, Mr. Pantchev returned to the West L.A. VA in violation of his parole conditions and began sending harassing and intimidating communications to the colleagues of the two physicians he first targeted in 2011. He distributed "hundreds of lewd, sexually explicit and defamatory fliers" with large images of Victims C and D around the the West L.A. VA and other locations in the Los Angeles area.

On the morning of Mr. Pantchev's arrest in January 2021, he drove to the home of Victim D and her child's elementary school to distribute more sexually explicit flyers that listed the victim's home address and contact information. 

Mr. Pantchev has been in federal custody since his arrest. A federal jury found him guilty in July of four counts of stalking.

"This defendant earned a lengthy prison sentence by terrorizing his victims for years," U.S. Attorney Martin Estrada said in the news release. "The women subjected to his attacks suffered severe emotional distress, including constant fear for their physical safety and the safety of their families."

During the Oct. 25 sentencing hearing, Mr. Walter said Mr. Pantchev's "extreme anti-social behavior puts him in the top five to 10 defendants among the thousands that I have seen in over 20 years on the bench."


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