anchorage pair sentenced for federal felony civil rights violation
Anchorage, Alaska – United States Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced today, September 9, 2010, that Robert Bruce Gum and Deanna Angelina Scaglione, aka Deanna Powers, residents of Anchorage, were sentenced to prison terms for threatening an Alaska Native man because of his race while he was walking down the street in Anchorage in July of 2008. Mr. Gum was sentenced to 20 months in prison, and Ms. Powers was sentenced to16 months.
United States District Judge Timothy M. Burgess, who presided over the sentencing, took note of the disturbing nature of the crime, commenting that the defendants’ actions were motivated by hate and that their “conduct was offensive to the fundamental principles of our country.”
According to Assistant United States Attorney Kevin Feldis, who represented the United States at the sentencing hearing, the facts presented to the court showed that Gum and Scaglione pursued and harassed an Alaska Native man over an extended period of time during the early morning hours of July 28, 2008. Scaglione was driving a car, and Gum was riding as her front-seat passenger. Together, they pursued their victim in the car and on foot, verbally and physically threatening him as they went, including throwing eggs at him, and threatening to harm him with a baseball bat and a gun. The pair recorded their actions on a small video camera, and Scaglione subsequently posted two video recordings that she made of this incident on YouTube.
Powers and Gum admitted that the attack was racially motivated, and the video tape they made of the incident, reviewed by the court as part of sentencing, shows the two reporting that they are downtown “egging Natives” and making other racially offensive remarks.
Ms. Loeffler fully supported federal prosecution of the two defendants under the federal civil rights law, noting that “our community cannot tolerate hate and racial discrimination. Conduct like the assault that occurred in this case is a crime not only against the victim, but also against our entire community and must be appropriately punished.”
The Anchorage Police Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted the investigation leading to the conviction in this case.