A Springfield, Ohio, man was sentenced in U.S. District Court yesterday to 20 years in prison for committing federal hate crimes targeting and attacking Haitian nationals residing in the area.
Izaye Eubanks, 22, pleaded guilty in August to both federal and local crimes. He admitted to committing hate crimes against at least eight Haitian nationals.
“This defendant is being held accountable for repeatedly assaulting and robbing members of the Haitian community in Springfield, Ohio, because of their national origin,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “Attacks like these, where a group of individuals is targeted for violent abuse and robbery because of who they are, will not be tolerated. The Justice Department will continue to enforce our federal criminal civil rights laws to protect all people in this country, and we will prosecute predators who commit violent, bias-motivated crimes.”
“Hate and discrimination have never had a place in our society. As today’s significant prison sentence shows, they have no place today,” said U.S. Attorney Kenneth L. Parker for the Southern District of Ohio. “We will continue to prosecute hate crimes to the fullest extent of the law.”
“The hate crimes committed by Izaye Eubanks threatened and intimidated the immigrant community throughout the region,” stated Special Agent in Charge J. William Rivers of the FBI Cincinnati Field Office. “Because hate crimes have such a wide-ranging impact, investigating these crimes is a top priority for the FBI.”
According to court documents, in January and February, Eubanks committed various assaults, robberies and a carjacking of Haitian individuals because of the victims’ actual and perceived national origin. Eubanks would travel throughout Springfield looking for individuals he believed were from Haiti and then attack the individuals, usually by punching them and knocking them to the ground before robbing them of their money, cell phones, a vehicle and/or other personal belongings.
On Jan. 29, Eubanks assaulted and robbed a victim while the victim was walking to wire $300 in cash to his mother in Haiti. Eubanks punched the victim in the back of the head and neck, causing him to briefly black out, then robbed the victim of his cash, cell phone and ATM cards. That same day, Eubanks assaulted a victim as he left a Haitian market. Eubanks grabbed the victim by his shirt, pulled him out of his vehicle and punched him in the face before stealing the victim’s vehicle.
On Feb. 1, Eubanks directed juveniles to help him complete four separate attacks on five additional victims.
The FBI Cincinnati Field Office investigated the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Amy M. Smith and Ryan A. Saunders for the Southern District of Ohio prosecuted the case.