PORTSMOUTH, N.H. — A man who pleaded guilty to sending false, threatening emails that appeared to be from police has asked a judge for his release from prison until he’s sentenced.

The Portsmouth Herald reported that a lawyer for Austin Santoro, 23, of York, Maine, filed a memo in federal court in Maine arguing his client needs mental health treatment and arrangements have been made for that after his release. But he’s already spent nine months in prison and isn’t expected to be sentenced for three months.

A prosecutor said Santoro’s guilty plea triggers the mandatory detention.

Santoro was accused of sending emails that appeared to be from the Portsmouth, New Hampshire, police chief to female department members, containing threats of rape at gunpoint.

Other emails went to the York and Kittery police departments, among other places.

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