ADL Welcomes Sentencing In Washington, D.C. Hate Crime Case

Washington, D.C., April 12, 2010 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) praised the United States Attorney's Office of the District of Columbia on the sentencing of a Virginia man, Christopher McDonald, for his assault on a group of gay women in downtown Washington, D.C. in September 2009.

McDonald, who confronted the group of women with homophobic epithets while they ate pizza on a sidewalk, admitted that he threatened the group and brandished a knife based on his perception of their sexual orientation. McDonald, 27, was charged on two criminal counts, and received the one and one half times enhanced penalty for committing a bias-motivated crime in the District of Columbia.

"We commend the U.S. Attorney's Office, as well as the Metropolitan Police Department, for their commitment to securing justice for the victims, and for making it clear that expressions of bigotry and hatred will not be tolerated in the District of Columbia," said Sophie Dornstreich, ADL Assistant Regional Director.

"Perpetrators of hate crimes send a message to their victims - and everyone else who shares the victim's characteristics - that minorities are not welcome or safe. Every time the perpetrator of a hate crime is brought to justice, the opposite message is sent loud and clear; that all people, of any nationality, race, sexual orientation, gender, religion, or ethnicity, are welcome, safe, protected, and included in this city."

Hate crime statutes have been adopted by 45 states. Many of those laws are based on a model statute crafted by ADL, which has long been in the forefront of national and state efforts to deter and counteract hate-motivated criminal activity.

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