Sports

Man charged with stalking Olympic champion Shawn Johnson

Prosecutors charged a man Thursday with stalking Dancing With the Stars contestant and Olympic gold medal gymnast Shawn Johnson, alleging he drove from Florida in a car with loaded guns, duct tape and love letters to meet the 17-year-old.

Prosecutors charged a man Thursday with stalking Dancing With the Stars contestant and Olympic gold medal gymnast Shawn Johnson, alleging he drove from Florida in a car with loaded guns, duct tape and love letters to meet the 17-year-old.

The Los Angeles Country district attorney's office charged Robert O'Ryan, 34, with one felony count of stalking and two misdemeanor counts of carrying a loaded gun in a vehicle. He was scheduled to appear for arraignment Thursday in Superior Court, where prosecutors said they would request his bail be raised from $35,000 US to $220,000.

Authorities said O'Ryan was arrested Tuesday after he tried to jump a security fence at CBS Studios, where the ABC show is filmed. Police later searched his car and said they found a shotgun and handgun — both loaded — as well as duct tape and love letters.

A restraining order requested by Johnson's parents and issued Wednesday against O'Ryans said Johnson was "in fear of her life." A statement by Johnson's mother, Teri, states that she was told by police that O'Ryan believed he was meant to have a child with her daughter.

If convicted, O'Ryan could face up to four years in prison. Court records do not indicate whether he had a lawyer.

Johnson, of West Des Moines, Iowa, won one gold and three silver medals at the Beijing Olympics and is one of the remaining celebrity contestants on the reality show.

"We are confident that it will be handled appropriately by all involved," said Johnson's publicist, Sue Madore, in an email.

The show added in a statement that the appropriate authorities were handling the matter.