update deskU.S. News

Mississippi man pleads guilty to threatening, stalking Jews

“Cyberstalking is already a serious violation and targeting victims based on their religion is a hate crime, which makes it that much more abhorrent,” said U.S. Attorney Jacqueline Romero.

Credit: VBlock/Pixabay.
Credit: VBlock/Pixabay.

Donavon Parish, 29, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court on Tuesday to cyberstalking harassment, admitting that he was motivated by Jew-hatred, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Parish, of Hattiesburg, Miss., made threats over the phone to synagogues and Jewish businesses in Pennsylvania in April and May 2023.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that he targeted three synagogues and three Jewish-owned delis, including calling one deli more than 15 times.

“He repeatedly referenced the genocide of approximately 6 million Jewish people during the Holocaust, stating, among other things, ‘Heil Hitler,’ ‘all Jews must die,’ ‘we will put you in work camps,’ ‘gas the Jews’ and ‘Hitler should have finished the job,'” according to the U.S. Justice Department.

“The calls were reported to a local police department and when an officer called Parish’s number back, he answered, prosecutors said,” the Inquirer reported. “The officer asked if Parish had called the deli, to which Parish said yes, and then declared that ‘all Jews need to die’ and ‘Heil Hitler.’ When the officer asked the Parish for his identifying information, he hung up.”

The Inquirer added that one of the synagogues that Parish targeted runs a pre-kindergarten and religious schools.

“Cyberstalking is already a serious violation and targeting victims based on their religion is a hate crime, which makes it that much more abhorrent,” stated Jacqueline Romero, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. “We and our partners will continue to work to hold accountable anyone who criminally misuses today’s technology to spread hate and fear.”

Parish, who will be sentenced on Sept. 24, faces up to 15 years in jail, three years of supervised release, a $1.5 million fine and a $600 special assessment, per the Justice Department. The FBI assisted in the investigation.

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