Mobile, Alabama, Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Civil Rights Charges Related to Desecration of Synagogue
WASHINGTON – Christian Rodney Ice, 19, of Mobile, Ala., pleaded guilty today in federal court in Mobile to one count of violating the Church Arson Act by placing threatening graffitti and neo-Nazi markings on a synagogue in Mobile, the Justice Department and the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Southern District of Alabama announced. Sentencing has been scheduled for Sept. 23, 2010. Ice faces a maximum prison sentence of one-year in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.
During the plea proceedings and in documents filed in court, Ice admitted that during the late night and early morning hours of Jan. 3-4, 2009, he and an associate used spray paint to place anti-Semitic graffiti and neo-Nazi markings on the Congregation Tree of Life Messianic Synagogue in Mobile. The graffiti and markings included the German words "Juden Raus" ("Jews Out"), and the statement "Hitler was right."
"Threats against religious institutions and their members will not be tolerated in this country," said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. "This case should send a clear message to others who would carry out similar criminal acts that they will be brought to justice and held accountable for their actions."
"The U.S. Attorney’s Office will continue to use all the tools at its disposal to stamp out hate crimes and instances of bigotry," said Kenyen R. Brown, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama.
The case was investigated by special agents from the Mobile Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the City of Mobile Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney George May of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Alabama and Trial Attorney Donald Tunnage of the Civil Rights Division.