David Saks: Utah Man Guilty of Federal Hate Crime - Threatened Interracial Family

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Utah Man Guilty of Federal Hate Crime - Threatened Interracial Family

Utah Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Hate Crime

for Threatening Interracial Family

U.S. Department of Justice September 23, 2014
  • Office of Public Affairs (202) 514-2007/TDD (202)514-1888

WASHINGTON—The Department of Justice announced that

Robert Keller, 70, pleaded guilty

in the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah today to a federal civil rights crime related to interfering with the housing rights of three members of an interracial family because of the family member’s races and because the family members were living in a home while associating with an African American family member in Hurricane, Utah.

During the plea proceedings,

Keller admitted that on Dec. 30, 2013, he wrote a note

to two Caucasian family members of an interracial

family threatening to kill them if they did not make

their African American family member leave their

home.

Keller admitted that he used threats of force to willfully intimidate and interfere with the two Caucasian family members because they were occupying a dwelling while associating with their African American family member.

“Members of our community have a constitutional right to live in their home without fear, and the department will not tolerate threats of violence that infringe on that right,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Molly Moran for the Civil Rights Division.

“Hate based crimes have no place in America,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Carlie Christen for the District of Utah. “They not only hurt the individuals who are the object of such hate, but tear at the fabric of our society as a whole. In this case, the defendant’s attempt to rid his neighborhood of an African-American member of an interracial family serves as a horrifying reminder that racial intolerance stills exists in some communities. This conviction sends a clear message that such despicable acts will not be tolerated by this office, but will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

Sentencing is scheduled for December 1st and the defendant faces a maximum penalty of one year in prison.

This case is being investigated by the Salt Lake City Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in cooperation with the Hurricane City Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Saeed Mody of the Civil Rights Division and Assistant United States Attorney Carlos Esqueda of the District of Utah.

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May God bless you.

Comment balloon 6 commentsDavid Saks • September 24 2014 10:09AM

Comments

3 words come to mind David

Lord Have Mercy!

and a saying I was taught way back in Nursing school ( 1979) before being a REALTOR (1999) still applies...

The color of blood is red - we all bleed red.

 

Have a blessed week.

 

sincerely,

grace

Posted by Jeff&Grace Safrin, SpousesSellingHousesTM (F.C.Tucker 1st Team Real Estate) over 5 years ago

David  We just had a Gay couple bashed in the city of Philadelphia by a group of white males and females it may have to go to a federal court because the city does not have hate crime laws for gay rights  . It is all over the news now .Hate crimes are terrible terrible thing

Posted by Hannah Williams, Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818 (Re/Max Eastern inc.) over 5 years ago

So right, Grace. Thanks.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) over 5 years ago

I saw that story and the surveillance photos of the incident, Hannah. It's pretty bad. Thanks for reading this case review and your note.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) over 5 years ago

David, I shake my head in disbelief everytime I read or hear anything like this happening.

Posted by Sam Miller, Knox County Ohio Real Estate Specialist (RE/MAX Stars Realty) over 5 years ago

Me too, Sam.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) over 5 years ago

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