A jury in San Francisco convicted Eric Hunt, 24, of felony false imprisonment as a hate crime, misdemeanor battery, and misdemeanor elder abuse for his attack against noted author, Holocaust survivor, and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel.
The jury found Hunt, a resident of Sussex County, New Jersey, guilty on July 21, 2008, after hearing two weeks of testimony, including Wiesel's account of the attack and details regarding Hunt's mental health and Holocaust denial beliefs.
On February 1, 2007, Hunt grabbed Wiesel in an elevator at a San Francisco hotel at which Wiesel was staying. Hunt forced Wiesel out onto the sixth floor, but fled after Wiesel called for help.
Hunt's defense counsel admitted that Hunt had followed Wiesel on his speaking tour across the country, but claimed it was due to his alleged bi-polar disorder.
Hunt is scheduled to be sentenced on August 18, 2008. He faces up to three years in prison.
Police in New Jersey arrested a man suspected of having attempted to abduct Elie Wiesel, the noted author and Holocaust survivor, and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, early in February in San Francisco.
Eric Hunt, 22, was picked up at a mental health clinic in Belle Mead, NJ, for extradition back to California where he faces charges of attempted kidnapping, false imprisonment, elder abuse, stalking, battery, and committing a hate crime.
According to police, Hunt allegedly abducted Wiesel in an elevator at a San Francisco hotel at which Wiesel was staying, forcing him onto the sixth floor, but fleeing after Wiesel began to yell. Authorities were able to identify Hunt as a suspect from items left behind and tracked him to New Jersey.
Police said that Hunt previously tried to confront Wiesel at a different conference in Florida, but was not successful.
After the attack, Hunt allegedly posted a description of the attempted abduction to an anti-Semitic site on the Internet, identifying himself as a Holocaust denier who wished to "interrogate" Wiesel.