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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Connecticut

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 25, 2021

New York Man Sentenced to 3 Years in Federal Prison for Hate Crime Offenses

Leonard C Boyle, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and David Sundberg, Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, announced that CHRISTOPHER RASCOLL, 49, of Blauvelt, New York, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Kari A. Dooley in Bridgeport to 36 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for making anti-Semitic death threats to a Jewish resident of Stratford, Connecticut.

According to court documents and statements made in court, in November 2019, Rascoll began to threaten a woman, who is Jewish, through numerous text messages, voicemails and Facebook posts.  In several text messages and voicemails, which continued until June 2020, Rascoll threatened to murder or seriously injure the victim.  He also threatened to blow up the victim’s house and car.  Some of Rascoll’s threatening text messages contained anti-Semitic references to the Holocaust.

On December 23, 2019, the first day of Hannukah, Rascoll sent the victim a message that included the words “Suns about to go down. It would be a shame if your house were used to light the menorah. Or turned in a gas chamber.”  On April 8, 2020, the first day of Passover, Rascoll wrote “I’m going to kill you. You better be gone because if you’re in [the victim’s housing community] Easter weekend I’m going to stick you in an oven. Or I’m going to shoot you . . . . I should send you to a concentration camp.”

On June 26, 2020, only a few hours before he was located and arrested by the FBI, Rascoll left the victim a voicemail message stating, “The police are not going to help you. The courts are not going to help you. . . . I will kill you.”

The FBI’s investigation also identified several other individuals who had been threatened and harassed by Rascoll.

“For seven months, this defendant’s hate-fueled threats made the victim in fear for her life, and she continues to suffer lingering effects of his vicious behavior,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Boyle.  “In addition to protecting the victim, this sentence sends an appropriate message that these crimes cannot be tolerated and will result in a lengthy prison term.”

“The courts have spoken very clearly:  Hate crimes will not be tolerated and the consequences will be significant.” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Sundberg.  “We at the FBI, alongside our law enforcement partners, will continue to address threats based on race, religion, nationality or gender in order to end crimes of hate in our communities.”

Judge Dooley ordered Rascoll to serve the first three months of his supervised release in a residential reentry center.

Rascoll has been detained since his arrest on June 26, 2020.  On April 27, 2021, he pleaded guilty to one count of interference with the right to fair housing, a hate crime, and one count of sending threatening communications.

This matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with assistance from the Stratford Police Department.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sarala V. Nagala and Amanda S. Oakes.

Topic(s): 
Civil Rights
Hate Crimes
Component(s): 
Updated August 25, 2021