For release on November 25, 2013   CONTACT: Sean Webby Media Coordinator (408) 792-2997   Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen Statement Concerning Ongoing Hate Crime Investigation at San Jose State University  
“Like so many of us, I am shocked, outraged, and saddened by the hateful and illegal conduct of several freshmen at San Jose State University. I understand the terrifying emotional trauma that racial bullying and images of swastikas and Confederate flags can inflict.   In Santa Clara County, we are a community that prides ourselves in our diversity and our tolerance. As District Attorney, I am committed to fighting to preserve and expand those values.   The actions by the young men in this case were not merely a college prank or hazing. They were acts motivated by hatred. As such, my Office decided it was insufficient for them to simply be disciplined by the University. So, we charged them with battery and a hate crime.   That means - if convicted - the young mens’ punishment for the crimes could double. In addition, a hate crime conviction allows the court to order that the young men make payments or other compensation to agencies which serve victims of hate violence, reimburse the victim for counseling or other expenses which resulted from the defendants' actions and to take racial tolerance and sensitivity classes.   While we understand the outrage of those calling for even stiffer charges in this case, the charges are not a reflection of the degree of their racism. The charges are a reflection of their criminal conduct.   To date, we have charged the perpetrators with the most serious crimes based on the facts. It is important to understand that hate crime cases are often complex and witnesses can be slow to come forward. In as much, we consider this to be an ongoing investigation.   My Office would like to thank the San Jose State University Police Department for their thorough investigative work on this case. They are to be commended.   As a community, we must confront racism with a determination to make it even more unwelcome and rare. We must teach our young people that every human being should be treated with respect and dignity.   ###

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