Supporter of Neo-Nazi ‘Goyim Defense League’ Charged With Hate Crime Following Anti-Gay Assault in San Diego
A 40-year-old man associated with a neo-Nazi group has been charged by police in San Diego, California, with a hate crime for a homophobic assault on a male neighbor, just one week after he was cited for unfurling an antisemitic banner at an interstate overpass.
Chula Vista resident Robert Wilson was charged on Monday for the Nov. 10 attack on his neighbor. Wilson is alleged to have used his vehicle to block his neighbor’s driveway while screaming anti-gay slurs at his victim. Wilson then approached his neighbor’s car and reached inside the window, striking his victim in the face.
Prosecutors charged Wilson with felony battery on the basis that he committed the crime specifically because of the victim’s protected status — in this case, his sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation, the San Diego Tribune reported.
Prosecutors must prove a hate crime by showing it was motivated by prejudice against the victim’s race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.
Alongside the battery and hate crime charges against Wilson over the assault, prosecutors are also including a municipal code violation relating to his participation in the hanging of a large banner at an overpass on Interstate 805 that bore an antisemitic slogan, the San Diego District Attorney’s Office confirmed.
On Dec. 18, Wilson joined with other supporters of the so-called “Goyim Defense League (GDL)” in rolling out a banner declaring that “Jewish Supremacy Censors Speech About Jewish Supremacy.” During the last year, the “GDL” — a neo-Nazi group that pushes Holocaust denial, false accusations that Jews are responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic and similar antisemitic conspiracy theories — has mounted several publicity stunts in cities across the US. The group was in overdrive during the week leading up to the Christmas vacation, targeting private homes in at least eight states with virulently antisemitic fliers claiming that “every single aspect of the COVID agenda is Jewish.”
If convicted of the charges, Wilson faces a maximum prison sentence of three years and six months.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) welcomed the hate crime charge against Wilson, observing in a statement that “hate is hate and an attack against one group is an attack against all.”
District Attorney Summer Stephan said that Wilson’s case and other hate crimes in the area “demonstrate that those who are motivated by prejudice often spread their hate around to various groups, attacking our neighbors on the basis of race, religion, sexual orientation or other grounds.”
“Hate against one group is a threat to everyone and we won’t tolerate these crimes in our community,” Stephan said in a statement.