Bipolar millionaire with ties to region gets no mercy in 2nd offense
Mark Juliano promised two years ago to stay on his anti-psychotic medications when the federal government charged him with cyber-stalking his ex-wife, and he got probation for pleading to a lesser charge.
The millionaire Internet entrepreneur, who got his business start in Western Pennsylvania, made the same promise on Thursday.
This time, the judge isn't buying it.
“We went through this process before,” a visibly angry Senior U.S. District Judge Alan N. Bloch said at the end of a probation revocation hearing Downtown.
Juliano, 54, who has been living in Sonoma, Calif., since 2011, left rambling, threatening messages on the voice mail of his federal probation officer and skipped town to Reno in February, prosecutors said. Authorities arrested him Feb. 19.
“He promised me that he would take his medication, and he didn't,” Bloch said before ordering lawyers to come up with a treatment plan for Juliano by next week.
Juliano remains in federal custody.
“I'm so sorry I said what I said,” Juliano said through tears. “It's scary as hell to know that you're sick.”
The former Edgeworth resident founded several Internet startups, including MediaSite and the podcasting company TalkShoe, and was an executive at North Hills-based FORE Systems Inc. and Avidia Corp.
His legal troubles began in 2010 during a custody battle with his ex-wife, Lisa Lisanti of Edgeworth, who was raising their four children.
Edgeworth police charged him with harassment for sending threatening emails to her and her attorney while he was the subject of a protection from abuse order and barred from seeing his family without a sheriff's deputy present. A psychiatrist and psychologist told Bloch on Thursday that Juliano's bipolar disorder — which doctors diagnosed in 1996 — and manic episodes that year likely resulted from his failure to take medicine.
In 2011, Juliano pleaded guilty to making false statements for trying to get a replacement passport after he surrendered his while awaiting trial on a charge of cyberstalking his wife. Bloch sentenced him to three years of probation with strict reporting rules while Juliano lived in California.
Juliano said he and his psychiatrist “made a joint decision” to wean him off lithium in 2012. By January, he experienced a full psychotic episode, specialists said.
Defense attorney David J. Betras argued the psychosis meant Juliano didn't know the consequences of his actions when he told the probation officer, “I don't want to hurt you” and posed in a second voicemail as an FBI agent. He said Juliano did not reach out to Lisanti, although he mentioned her family in the voicemails.
Bloch said Juliano should have known the consequences of stopping his medication.
“His mental state was caused by his own actions,” he said.
David Conti is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5802 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Vehicle strikes pedestrian near UPMC McKeesport
- Pitt joins Giant Eagle, sets goal to put more disabled on payroll
- Police seek missing Marshall-Shadeland girl
- Pittsburgh Marathon runner remains in critical condition
- Allegheny County restaurant grading proposal might get an ‘F’
- Pittsburgh officials to hear opinions, answer questions about bus rapid transit project
- Relentless winter exhausted PennDOT’s snow removal budget
- Plum Borough officials placed on paid administrative leave
- McKees Rocks couple charged with child endangerment in death of 3-month-old
- Relocation of Air Force simulator a boon for Findlay
- Union sues Pittsburgh over temporary worker contributions