Sunday 25 September 2016

Brothers jailed for Donald Trump-inspired hate crime attack on homeless Mexican man

Published 17/05/2016 | 09:08

Scott Leader (lt) and Steve Leader had previously pleaded guilty to causing bodily injury while committing a civil rights violation Credit: Suffolk County District Office
Scott Leader (lt) and Steve Leader had previously pleaded guilty to causing bodily injury while committing a civil rights violation Credit: Suffolk County District Office

Two Boston brothers accused of urinating on and beating a homeless Mexican man and telling police "Donald Trump was right: All these illegals need to be deported," were sentenced to prison on Monday, prosecutors said.

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Scott Leader (38), and Steve Leader (30), had previously pleaded guilty to causing bodily injury while committing a civil rights violation, as well as assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, among other charges.

Scott Leader was sentenced to three years in prison and Steve Leader was sentenced to at least two years, the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office said in a statement. The pair will also be on probation for three years after their prison sentences end.

The Leaders were arrested on August 19 on suspicion of beating Guillermo Rodriguez, then 58, as he slept in a subway station. The men told police they targeted their victim because they believed he was an illegal immigrant.

Mr Rodriguez said that he was in fact a permanent resident.

"I came to this country many years ago and worked hard in the farm fields to provide produce to people here. I actually became a permanent resident of this country years ago, although if I had been undocumented I still would not have deserved to be beaten this way," he said in a victim impact statement read before the sentencing.

The pair punched and kicked Mr Rodriguez, and one of the men repeatedly struck him with a metal pole, before the two walked off laughing, prosecutors said.

According to a police report, they told officers, "Donald Trump was right: All these illegals need to be deported."

Prosecutors said Scott Leader told arresting officers that he believed the attack was justified because the victim was homeless and Hispanic. The pair also allegedly threatened police officers while in custody.

Mr Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for the US presidential race, has been vocal on immigration, proposing to build a wall on the border with Mexico and promising, if elected, to deport the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants already in the United States.

Mr Trump, a real estate developer and reality television personality, initially described the attack as an outcome of passionate views on immigration but later called it "terrible".

Lawyers for the two men could not be reached for immediate comment

Reuters

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