Attorney General Becerra Announces Plea in Crimes Involving Islamic Religious Center
SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced that defendant Mark Feigin has pled to two misdemeanor charges involving harassing electronic communication to an Islamic center and attempts to dissuade a law enforcement officer from testifying against him. The defendant entered the plea in the Los Angeles Superior Court. Sentencing in this case is scheduled for May 1, 2018.
“We will not turn a blind eye to violent threats targeted at individuals based on prejudice, whether because of race, ethnicity, religion, disability, gender or sexual orientation,” said Attorney General Becerra. “An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us. The California Department of Justice will vigorously prosecute those who commit crimes motivated by hate. This plea reinforces our commitment.”
In September 2016, Mark Feigin called in death threats to the Islamic Center of Southern California in Los Angeles and posted anti-Muslim rhetoric and threats to the Center’s Facebook page. The case was investigated by the Los Angeles Police Department Major Crimes Division and prosecuted by the California Department of Justice. During the service of a search and arrest warrant, officers located fifteen firearms and more than five buckets of ammunition. After the defendant’s arrest and arraignment, he repeatedly sent text and Facebook messages to one of the investigating officers and attempted to dissuade the officer from testifying at trial.
Attorney General Becerra remains committed to working with local law enforcement agencies, schools and local communities to enforce California’s anti-hate crime statutes to the fullest extent of the law.
Last year, Attorney General Becerra released the Hate Crime in California report, which provides statistics on hate crimes that occurred statewide during 2016. These statistics include the number of hate crime events, hate crime offenses, victims of hate crimes, and suspects of hate crimes.