WASHINGTON – Ilya Sobolevskiy, a 25-year-old resident of Maryland, was sentenced today to serve 12 months in prison and to pay a $3,000 fine for violating the civil rights of members of an Urbana, Ill., mosque, announced the Justice Department.
During a guilty plea hearing in August 2010, Sobolevskiy admitted that he sent an email to a member of the Central Illinois Mosque and Islamic Center (CIMIC), in which he threatened, among other things, that he would “do WHATEVER it takes to eradicate Islam.” Officials at CIMIC reported the threat to the FBI, which referred the case to the department’s Civil Rights Division.
“One of our most basic rights is the freedom to practice one’s faith in peace,” said Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez of the Civil Rights Division. “We have no tolerance for threats of violence fueled by bigotry, and we will aggressively prosecute such actions.”
“It is a top priority of the FBI to protect the civil rights of the American people. We encourage members of the community to report all allegations of civil rights violations. The FBI will aggressively investigate these matters to ensure that our society remains free,” said Stuart R. McArthur, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Springfield Office.
Federal Magistrate Judge David G. Bernthal, referring to the defendant’s crime as “an act of terror,” gave the defendant the maximum sentence permitted by law.
This case was investigated by the Springfield, Ill., division of the FBI, and was prosecuted by department Trial Attorney Patricia Sumner.