Woman’s sentencing Thursday

EPHRATAH – A Lassellsville woman arrested in 2011 after mailing threats to four public officials, including a U.S. Senator, will learn this week whether she will spend the next decade in prison.

Roberta Cicora will be sentenced at 2 p.m. Thursday in U.S. District Court in Springfield, Mass. She is facing 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine after pleading guilty in four felony counts of mailing threatening communication and four felony counts of aiding and abetting.

Cicora was 57 years old when she was indicted Aug. 25, 2011, after the U.S. attorney’s office said she sent threatening letters and white powder to the Boston offices of U.S. Sen. Scott Brown and state Attorney General Martha Coakley, as well as the district courthouse in Greenfield, Mass. She also is accused of sending a threatening letter to the Franklin County Jail in Greenfield.

Cicora initially pleaded not guilty and was released, but her release was revoked in August because, according to court records, she told officials she refused to stop smoking marijuana and did not plan to report to her pretrial services officer. She had repeatedly tested positive for drugs, court records show.

“The court has little choice but to revoke [Cicora’s] pretrial release, with the opportunity hereafter to seek such release on other conditions to be proposed by her which would guard against flight and reasonably ensure the safety of the community,” Justice Kenneth Neiman said in issuing the Aug. 8 order.

Before leaving the courtroom, Cicora reportedly pulled a sharp device from her brassiere and began slashing her arm.

“It happened so fast,” Cicora’s court-appointed attorney, Lori H. Levinson, told The Republican newspaper of Springfield, Mass. “She hadn’t been cuffed yet. I was grabbing at her hand.”

Federal officials did not identify the cutting instrument. Levinson told the newspaper she believed it was glass. No charges were filed in the incident,

Cicora told The Leader-Herald she sent the letters and powder because she was unhappy with how the state handled cases and warrants against her boyfriend, who had been in a relationship with a Massachusetts woman who later accused him of domestic abuse.

“So I wrote some letters to get some attention,” Cicora said. “I needed these people to stand up and listen.”

She said the white powder was coffee creamer.

Cicora made a partial admission in May 2011, when Massachusetts State Police, an FBI agent and other officers questioned at her home, and made additional admissions a month later, when a polygraph examiner determined her answers “indicated deception,” according to a court filing.

Levinson filed a motion to suppress Cicora’s statements, because she said Cicora was not aware of her rights, but Cicora pleaded guilty before the court could rule on the motion.