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VALLEY ROUNDUP | Granada Hills

Man Pleads Guilty to Hate Crime

September 12, 2000|DAVID ROSENZWEIG

A 21-year-old man pleaded guilty in federal court Monday to violating the civil rights of an Egyptian man by painting swastikas and other racist symbols on his Granada Hills home.

Joshua Hass, an electrician from North Hills, faces up to a year in prison when he is sentenced in November by U.S. District Judge A. Howard Matz on a misdemeanor count.

Hass admitted spray-painting six large swastikas on the front of the house, along with lightning bolts, the phrase "white power" and the letters "SFV," representing the San Fernando Valley Peckerwoods, a white supremacist gang.

Appearing before Matz on Monday, Hass said he vandalized the house in retaliation for a previous confrontation between the owner and one of his friends.

Hass said he was not sober when he carried out the attack on Jan. 5, 1998, and that several friends stood by and watched.

Assistant U.S. Atty. Caroline Wittcoff said this was the first hate crime case prosecuted by her office involving an Arab victim.

Hass was charged with a misdemeanor rather than a felony because the victim was not physically harmed, authorities said.

In addition to possible imprisonment, Hass could be fined up to $100,000 and will be required to make restitution to the homeowner.

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