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DA: Student charged with hate crime for Nazi flyers at SUNY PurchasePosted: Updated:
A Purchase College student now faces felony charges for hanging pro-Nazi flyers on campus, according to officials.
Gunnar Hassard was arraigned at Harrison Town Court on charges of aggravated harassment, which is a felony and a hate crime.
According to the district attorney, the 18-year-old student from Oneonta admitted to putting up neo-Nazi flyers on buildings at Purchase last weekend
The DA also told the court that there is video of Hassard plastering those flyers when Jewish students and staff were celebrating the final nights of Hanukkah.
School officials say 16 posters in total were found on campus, many of them showing a picture of Hitler and a swastika.
The DA and legal experts say that it’s the the presence of a swastika on public property that warrants that felony charge of aggravated harassment.
Hassard's attorney says the case raises concerns over his client's First Amendment rights.
“Please tell your viewers to wait until the evidence is in. Don't go on anything you hear until there is a trial,” says Jay Solow, of Legal Aid of Westchester.
Hassard was released on $5,000 bail and has not been allowed to return to Purchase. He is due back here in court Jan. 8.
I am disgusted by the discovery of neo-Nazi fliers at SUNY Purchase today, and I have directed the State Police Hate Crimes Unit to assist in the investigation. Those behind this noxious act should know that these fliers only harden our resolve to combat hate in all its forms. pic.twitter.com/qvVe82TOHV— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) December 10, 2018