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Riverside girl will get virtually 3 years in jail for barrage of antisemitic threats

Riverside girl will get virtually 3 years in jail for barrage of antisemitic threats



A 59-year-old Riverside girl was sentenced to virtually three years in federal jail for making antisemitic threats in opposition to the previous government director of a Pittsburgh synagogue, the positioning of a mass capturing in 2018, and his relations.

Melanie Harris was sentenced to 32 months in jail to be adopted by three years of supervised launch after pleading responsible to transmitting a threatening communication in interstate commerce, the United States Department of Justice introduced Friday, May 24.

Harris’ threats “terrorized a Jewish household,” stated U.S. Attorney Markenzy Lapointe for the Southern District of Florida.

For over 4 years, Harris harassed and threatened three victims by making greater than 240 calls to the previous government director, leaving messages and fascinating in conversations during which she unleashed antisemitic hate and direct threats in opposition to him, his household and Jews normally, the U.S. Attorney’s Office stated in a information launch.

In the calls and voicemails, Harris made incessant references to the congregants murdered within the October 2018 bloodbath on the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, prosecutors stated.

According to the details admitted at her change-of-plea listening to, Harris made a number of calls on Oct. 3, 2022 to the previous government director’s mobile phone and left 4 separate, threatening voicemails. In one of many 4 voicemails, Harris stated “I’ll reduce your (expletive) head off”  and used an anti-Jewish slur.

Harris hid her telephone quantity from being detected by a caller identification system, leaving the victims bereft of any data of who and the place the harasser was, placing them in continuous concern for his or her lives till Harris’ arrest in March 2023, prosecutors stated.

The calls originated from Riverside, the place Harris lived on the time, and had been obtained in South Florida.

On the identical day that Harris started her calls to the previous government director, she additionally started calling the Tree of Life, leaving just about equivalent hate-filled antisemitic messages referencing the deaths of aged worshipers, the U.S. Attorney’s Office stated.

The FBI’s Miami Area Corruption Task Force, which additionally investigates civil rights violations, investigated the case. FBI Pittsburgh, FBI Los Angeles Riverside Resident Agency and the Riverside Police Department assisted within the investigation.

“Melanie Harris despatched threatening communications to a Jewish household utilizing vile and inflammatory language. The nature of her threats of violence in the direction of the victims and their religion had been clearly meant to evoke a local weather of concern and intimidation. Such conduct can’t be tolerated,” stated Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey B. Veltri of the FBI Miami Field Office.

“Violence by phrases or actions is unacceptable and the FBI will proceed to do every little thing we will to determine, arrest, and produce to justice those that have interaction in related conduct,” Veltri stated.

Anyone with details about a doable menace or who believes they’re the sufferer of a sufferer of a hate crime can contact 911 and the FBI at fbi.gov/ideas or at 800-225-5324.

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