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Press Release

Dale County Woman Sentenced for Civil Rights Violation

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Alabama

            Montgomery, Alabama – Today, United States Attorney Sandra J. Stewart announced the sentencing of 64-year-old Cheryl Lynn Pytleski, a resident of Chancellor, Alabama, to 12 months in prison for violating the civil rights of her neighbors.

            According to her plea agreement and other court records, on October 18, 2019, Pytleski hung racially offensive homemade dolls on the fence of her next-door neighbors, an African American family, in an attempt make the family move away. Pytleski pleaded guilty to a criminal violation of the Fair Housing Act in March of this year. In her plea agreement, Pytleski specifically admitted to using the threat of force to intimidate her neighbors because of their race and because they were occupying a dwelling next to her.

            A person violates the Fair Housing Act if he or she uses force, or threatens the use of force, to willfully injure, intimidate, or interfere with, any person because of his or her race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin, who is or has been engaged in the selling, purchasing, renting, financing, occupying, or contracting or negotiating for the sale, purchase, rental, financing, or occupation of any dwelling. The 12-month sentence, ordered on September 6, 2023, is the maximum allowed under the federal statute. There is no parole in the federal system.

            The FBI and the Ozark Police Department investigated the case. Assistant United States Attorney Brett J. Talley prosecuted the case.

Updated September 7, 2023

Civil Rights