Guilty Plea in New Jersey Hate Crimes Targeting Orthodox Jewish Community

Guilty Plea in New Jersey Hate Crimes Targeting Orthodox Jewish Community

Guilty Plea Unveiled: New Jersey Man Admits to Series of Hate Crimes Against Orthodox Jewish Community

In a disturbing revelation, a 29-year-old New Jersey man, Dion Marsh, has pleaded guilty to a series of bias-motivated violent assaults on members of the Orthodox Jewish community in and around Lakewood, New Jersey.

The guilty plea includes charges related to violating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr.

Hate Crimes Prevention Act and one count of carjacking.

Federal Guilty Plea: Hate Crimes and Carjacking Charges

On February 1, Dion Marsh admitted guilt before U.S. District Judge Zahid N. Quraishi in federal court.

The charges against him include five counts of violating the Hate Crimes Prevention Act, specifically causing bodily injury to five victims and attempting to kill and cause injuries with dangerous weapons to four of the victims, solely based on their Jewish identity.

Additionally, Marsh faces one count of carjacking.

Federal Authorities Condemn Antisemitic Assaults

Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division emphasized the accountability of Marsh for his antisemitic assaults.

She stated, “Hate-filled acts of violence, intended to harm, intimidate and isolate communities, have no place in our society.”

The Justice Department commits to aggressively prosecuting perpetrators of antisemitic violence nationwide.

Details of the Violent Assaults

According to court documents, on April 8, 2022, Marsh carried out a series of violent assaults on members of the Orthodox Jewish Community in and around Lakewood.

The victims, identifiable as Orthodox Jews by their traditional garments, were targeted solely due to their religious affiliation.

First Assault: At 1:18 p.m., Marsh forced an Orthodox Jewish man out of his car, assaulted him, and took control of the vehicle.

Second Assault: At 5:20 p.m., Marsh deliberately struck another visibly identifiable Orthodox Jewish man with a car, attempting to kill the victim.

Third Assault: At 6:06 p.m., using a different vehicle, Marsh deliberately struck another man identifiable as an Orthodox Jew, attempting to kill the victim and causing multiple broken bones.

Fourth Assault: At 6:55 p.m., Marsh struck and attempted to kill another visibly identifiable Orthodox Jewish man, stabbing him in the chest with a knife.

Response from Law Enforcement and Legal Proceedings

Special Agent in Charge James E. Dennehy of the FBI Newark Field Office emphasized that personal beliefs do not justify attacking and attempting to kill others based on religion.

The FBI encourages reporting hate crimes, stressing that silence won’t solve the issue.

Upcoming Sentencing and Maximum Penalties

The sentencing hearing for Dion Marsh is scheduled for June 11. He faces a maximum penalty of life in prison and a $250,000 fine for each hate crime violation related to attempting to kill victims.

Additionally, he faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the hate crime violation related to assaulting another victim and a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the carjacking charge.

The sentencing will be determined by a federal district court judge, considering U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Investigation and Prosecution Details

The FBI Newark Field Office, along with local law enforcement agencies, including the Lakewood Police Department, Jackson Township Police Department, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, and New Jersey State Police, conducted the investigation.

Assistant U.S. Attorney and Deputy Chief of the Civil Rights Division R. Joseph Gribko for the District of New Jersey prosecuted the case with assistance from the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

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