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North Carolina man who harbored Nazi memorabilia and attacked black and Latino men sentenced to 41 months in prison

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A North Carolina man was sentenced Wednesday to 41 months in prison and three years of supervised release for committing hate crimes against black and Latino men, according to Justice Department officials.

Evidence presented in court shows that 52-year-old Marian Hudak intentionally intimidated the victims based on their race and color and “interfered with their enjoyment of government-protected activities through violence or the threat of violence.”

A sign welcomes guests at a food establishment in Asheville, North Carolina. Employee photo Steve Schuster

“Marian Hudak terrorized people of color living in a town in North Carolina for years,” said Special Agent in Charge Robert M. DeWitt of the FBI Charlotte Field Office.

“They were afraid to drive down certain streets, put gas in their cars, or even walk their children to the bus stop because of his lack of tolerance toward people who didn’t look like him. “There is no place for violence fueled by racial hatred in this country,” said SAC DeWitt.

Evidence at trial proved that on October 13, 2022, Hudak encountered a black man he had never met before on a public street in Concord, North Carolina.

Hudak shouted racist insults at the man. He told him to come here, boy, then got out of his car, punched the victim's window several times, and then chased the victim all the way home, where he continued to yell racial slurs and threaten him.

“Racially motivated acts of violence are abhorrent and unlawful and have no place in our society today,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

“This defendant, wearing the KKK flag and Nazi paraphernalia, carried out hateful attacks on a black man who was merely driving on a public road and a Hispanic man who was simply trying to live in his own home. The harsh punishment meted out for these horrific hate crimes should send a clear signal that perpetrators of hate violence will be held accountable. “The Department of Justice is consistently committed to investigating and prosecuting hate crimes across our country,” Clarke said.

According to court documents obtained by the Wisconsin Law Journal, federal agents discovered a Velcro fastener with a swastika in the back of one of Hudak's drawers.

At one point, Hudak was caught screaming “F*ck Black people” over a loudspeaker at a suburban Charlotte Sam’s Club.

Court documents indicate that possession of Nazi paraphernalia is legal. It is not legal to terrorize people driving on the road.

“It's not legal to terrorize people who live next to you because you don't like the color of their skin or know where they come from. It is not legal to attack her on these grounds,” the court documents say.

Evidence at trial also showed that on November 27, 2021, Hudak shouted racially motivated insults at a second victim, his neighbor, a Latino “who was enjoying his right to occupy an apartment.”

Hudak then attacked the second victim. by hitting him and assaulting him, causing physical injury. Other witnesses at the trial testified about Hudak's story in social media posts that denigrated Hispanics in general and the second victim's family in particular.

In other cases, Hudak intimidated Hispanics, including by parking his truck outside a Hispanic church during services and using derogatory language, Justice Department officials said.

According to court documents, Hudak shouted, “Go back, you damn Mexican, we don't want you, dirty people,” in front of Latino children waiting for their school bus.

“All people – regardless of race or nationality – have the right to travel on public roads and enjoy their homes without fear of threat, harassment or intimidation,” said U.S. Attorney Sandra J. Hairston for the Middle District of North Carolina.

“Yesterday’s sentence sends a strong signal that this type of violent, hateful behavior will be investigated and prosecuted within the law,” Hairston said.

The FBI Charlotte field office investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ashley Waid and JoAnna McFadden for the Middle District of North Carolina and Trial Attorney Daniel Grunert of the Criminal Division of the Civil Rights Division prosecuted the case.

As the Wisconsin Law Journal previously reported, hate crimes in Wisconsin based on race or religion have nearly tripled in the last three years.

Anna Harden

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