Guilty Verdicts on Assault of Two Mexican Nationals by Individuals Linked to Organized Racist Skinhead Group

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday October 13, 2011

CONTACT: Stephanie Ong Stillman, DA Gascón’s Office, (415) 553-1167 or (415) 740-5134
ADA Omid Talai, DA Gascón’s Office, (415) 415 553-9272

San Francisco - District Attorney George Gascón announced today that a San Francisco jury convicted Robert Allen, age 39, and Justin Meskan, age 29, individuals with links to a racist skinhead group, of assaulting two Mexican Nationals, Alex Cauich and Jose Omar Cauich. This case has helped uncover an underground network of racist skinhead groups operating in San Francisco.

District Attorney Gascón was joined today by Deputy Consul Enrique Maldonado, General Consulate of Mexico in San Francisco and Alex Cauich, one of the victims. “As great a city as San Francisco is, hate can arise anywhere and will persist unless we make it clear this intolerant behavior is prosecuted vigorously,” said District Attorney Gascón.

On November 10, 2010, Alex Cauich was waiting for his cousin Jose Omar Cauich outside of the Nitecap Bar on O’Farrell and Hyde Streets in the Tenderloin. Alex was surrounded by a group of white men who began to assault him. Jose came to his defense and was immediately assaulted. Neighbors reported hearing the men yelling “white power” and a witness on the street heard the assailants yelling “run like you run across the border” while chasing the victims. A search of defendant Allen’s apartment subsequent to his arrest revealed assorted Nazi and white supremacist paraphernalia.

The guilty verdict was announced after a one month trial resulting in a jury conviction for Allen and Meskan of felony assault with intent to cause great bodily injury on Alex Cauich and simple battery on Jose Omar Cauich.

In discussions with the jury after the verdict, Assistant District Attorney Victor Hwang said the jury indicated they struggled for two days around the law on hate crimes, “While the jury believed that race was a major factor in the severity and length of the beating of the victims, they couldn’t find beyond reasonable doubt it was the cause of the initial assault.”

Earlier this year, the Consulate General of Mexico in San Francisco and the San Francisco District Attorney’s office established a close collaboration to support and protect the victims of crime. “The Consulate General of Mexico in San Francisco has been closely following up this trial and recognizes the efforts by the Office of District Attorney George Gascón to bring to justice to the defendants involved in the assault of two vulnerable indigenous Mexicans,” said Deputy Consul Enrique Maldonado, General Consulate of Mexico in San Francisco

The arrest and prosecution of defendants Robert Allen and Justin Meskan is the result of a thorough investigation by San Francisco Police Inspector Schwarz-Choy and District Attorney Investigator McKenzie. Victor Hwang is the Assistant District Attorney who prosecuted the defendants. Omar Reyes is the Victim Advocate from the District Attorney’s Office assigned to the case.

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