News and Press Releases

Christopher M. Sanford plead guilty to a charge of interfering with housing rights of another

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 26, 2012

Mike Tobin, Public Affairs Specialist, (216) 622-3651

Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, today announced that Christopher M. Sanford entered a plea of guilty to a charge of interfering with housing rights of another as a result of the victim’s race, religion, or national origin. Sanford’s guilty plea was entered before U.S. Magistrate Judge William H. Baughman, Jr., who set sentencing for June 18, 2012, at 2:00 pm, and released Sanford on a $20,000 unsecured bond with conditions.

Sanford, age 25, resides in Middleburg Heights, Ohio. In pleading guilty, Sanford admitted that in the early morning hours of December 1, 2009, he hung a plastic camel affixed to a noose to the apartment door of an individual named in the Information as “A.F.A.” A.F.A. is a native of Jordan, an Arab, and a Muslim.
A.F.A.’s apartment was at Stonebridge Apartments, located at 1500 Detroit Avenue in downtown Cleveland, Ohio. Sanford admitted that the camel was selected because of the race, ethnicity, and/or religion of the targeted victim.

U.S. Attorney Dettelbach said, “the freedom of all Americans to live where they wish, without fear or threats based on their religion or race, is central to our way of life as Americans and Ohioans. This conduct violates those core values, values that we will continue to uphold through appropriate federal
prosecutions.”

The charge against Sanford carries maximum penalties of up to one year in prison, a $25,000 fine, and up to one year of supervised release. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney James V. Moroney, following an investigation by the civil rights unit of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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