Priest Accused Of Stalking Conan O’Brien

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    Priest Accused Of Stalking Conan O’Brien

    Boston Priest Charged With Stalking Conan
    Priest Arrested At Friday Taping

    POSTED: 11:20 pm EST November 7, 2007
    UPDATED: 7:30 pm EST November 8, 2007

    BOSTON — The priest accused of stalking late night star Conan O’Brien was kind and caring, nothing like the obsessed man who allegedly told O’Brien he was “tracking him through space and time,” his seminary mentor said Thursday.

    The Rev. John Mark Hannon said he believes the Rev. David Ajemian can still be a good priest if he receives proper psychiatric help.

    “He was a good seminarian. He was kind and generous and affable and concerned how people were,” said Hannon, who mentored O’Brien before he graduated from St. John’s Seminary in the Archdiocese of Boston in 2001.

    “He’s very likable,” Hannon added, “it’s just he’s stupid, apparently.”

    Ajemian was arrested Nov. 2 while trying to enter a taping of O’Brien’s show, despite being warned to stay away by NBC security personnel. He was arraigned on charges including stalking and aggravated harassment and ordered held for psychiatric evaluation.

    Ajemian, 46, was scheduled to appear in court Friday for an update on the case, said Jennifer Kushner, spokeswoman for the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

    His attorney, Eric Seiff, said Ajemian was being held at Riker’s Island, but declined further comment other than: “It will be worked out in court.”

    Ajemian, who allegedly began writing O’Brien in September 2006, has been placed on leave by the Boston Archdiocese and can’t minister publicly. He was removed in June from his last posting, at St. Patrick Parish in Stoneham, after just two years at the parish.

    A spokesman at the archdiocese did not respond to questions about whether the move was related to the stalking allegations. But on July 2, Ajemian wrote security officials at NBC questioning “why you chose to raise this matter with my superiors after I left you a clear message by phone several weeks ago that I would cease all contact with the show,” according to court papers.

    In the same letter he called himself “a stalker of a very different order than the kind you are used to dealing with” and dared them to “tell Conan about your surveillance of me.”

    In a previous letter, he expressed frustration to O’Brien that he’d been denied a spot in his audience after he’d flown to New York “in the dimming hope that you might finally acknowledge me.”

    “Is this the way you treat your most dangerous fans???” he wrote. “You owe me big time pal.”

    He also told O’Brien he knew where he lived and wrote, “Remember (mobster) Frank Costello once dodged a bullet in your building and so can you.”

    Ajemian apparently also had a long-standing beef with tennis champion John McEnroe, whom he refers to has his “childhood nemesis” in his notes to O’Brien, according to court records. He said McEnroe assaulted him when he wouldn’t give up his seat while the two were attending Trinity School in Manhattan.

    He instructs NBC security personnel to tell O’Brien, “I once went after my childhood nemesis John McEnroe, and am still waiting for his confession as well.”

    Ajemian, the son of former Time magazine journalist Robert Ajemian, is a 1979 graduate of Milton Academy and attended Harvard University at the same time O’Brien did. Ajemian graduated from Harvard in 1983, while O’Brien graduated in 1985.

    It was unclear if the two crossed paths at Harvard. O’Brien’s roommate at Harvard, the Rev. Paul O’Brien, a priest in Lawrence who is not related to Conan O’Brien, declined comment.

    NBC said Conan O’Brien would not comment on Ajemian.

    After graduating from Harvard, Ajemian took a roundabout route to the priesthood. Among his jobs was work in 1990 as a legal assistant at the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, and he also worked as a teacher.

    In a 2006 profile in The Stoneham Independent, Ajemian said he had a personal encounter with Jesus around age 30 and began attending a Catholic church soon after. He said he quickly felt a call to religious life.

    The Rev. Hannon, pastor at St. Joseph the Worker Parish in Hanson, said Ajemian never spoke to him about O’Brien and never gave any indication anything unusual was happening in his life. He’s not a dangerous person, Hannon said.

    “I still consider him a friend,” he said. … etail.html


    Andres Ortiz

    I read about this earlier yesterday. 2 things to note: people get stalked everyday, but only when it’s a celebrity does it get major coverage, and why is this story bent in favor of Conan? What are the motives of the priest? What is he trying to accomplish?

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