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Press Release

Oregon Man Charged with Federal Hate Crime for Defacing Synagogue

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

EUGENE, Ore.—An Oregon man has been charged with a federal hate crime for intentionally defacing a Eugene synagogue several times over a five-month period.

Adam Edward Braun, 34, a resident of Eugene, has been charged by federal criminal complaint with intentionally defacing a synagogue because it was a place of religious worship for Jewish people.

According to court documents, on four separate occasions between August 2023 and January 2024, Braun is alleged to have intentionally defaced Temple Beth Israel, a Jewish synagogue in Eugene, by repeatedly targeting the synagogue with graffiti, some of which used antisemitic symbols and phrases. Braun’s pattern of behavior culminated in the early morning hours of January 14, 2024, when he traveled to Temple Beth Israel with a hammer and prepared to swing at the glass doors of the synagogue. Braun stopped when he saw he was being recorded by a surveillance camera, and then moved to a different area of the property and used spray paint to write “White Power” in large letters on the building’s exterior.

On January 31, 2024, officers from the Eugene Police Department, with assistance from the FBI, executed a state search warrant on Braun’s Eugene residence and located multiple pieces of evidence connecting Braun to the attacks on Temple Beth Israel. Investigators also found several items and writings belonging to Braun that were consistent with antisemitic beliefs and biases.

Braun was arrested today without incident by the FBI and made his first appearance in federal court before a U.S. Magistrate Judge. He was ordered detained pending further court proceedings.

This case was investigated by the FBI with assistance from the Eugene Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Gavin W. Bruce, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon, and Cameron A. Bell, Trial Attorney for the Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Section.

A criminal complaint is only an accusation of a crime, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated March 7, 2024

Hate Crimes