Three Alleged Assailants Arraigned in Tenderloin Hate Crime

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 17, 2011

CONTACT:
ADA Seth Steward, DA Gascón’s Office, (415) 553-1014
Erica Terry Derryck, DA Gascón’s Office, (415) 553-1167

THREE ALLEGED ASSAILANTS ARRAIGNED IN TENDERLOIN HATE CRIME

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – District Attorney George Gascón announced today that Robert Allen (age 38, CN 10033429), Anthony Weston (age 32, CN 10035271) and Justin Meskan (age 29, CN 11000627) were arraigned on charges of assault based on the victims’ race and/or national origin.

“I want to thank Consul General Félix and his staff for their hard work on this case,” said District Attorney George Gascón. “The Mexican Consulate has worked swiftly and effectively to assist the victims of this brutal hate crime. Consul General Félix and his staff have worked closely with Victor Hwang of my office to bring the case to this point.”

All three defendants appeared before the Honorable Cynthia Ming-Mei Lee in Department 22 of San Francisco Superior Court on Thursday, March 17, 2011 for arraignment on one count of assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury in violation of California Penal Code Section 245(a)(1), one count of assault in violation of California Penal Code Section 245(a)(1) and one count of battery that caused serious bodily injury in violation of California Penal Code Section 243(d). The District Attorney’s Office has also alleged that the first 245(a)(1) charge caused great bodily injury in violation of California Penal Code Section 12022.7(a). Additionally, the District Attorney’s Office has alleged that each charge is a hate crime in violation of California Penal Code Section 422.75(a). All three defendants pled not guilty to all charges and allegations.

According to court documents, on November 10, 2010 the victims were attacked by three to five white males who assaulted both victims while yelling, “White power.” The preliminary hearing was held on March 3, 2011 before Judge Allen in Department 24 of San Francisco Superior Court. The defendants were held to answer on all counts and allegations.

If convicted of all charges, the maximum statutory penalty is ten years in state prison for each defendant. The case was continued to Wednesday, April 20, 2011 for a preliminary hearing conference and Friday, April 29, 2011 for trial in Department 22 before Judge Lee.

The arrest of the defendant is the result of the investigation of San Francisco Police Department Inspector Katherine Schwarz-Choy and San Francisco District Attorney’s Office Bureau of Investigations. The victims have been assisted by Consul General Félix and his staff at the Mexican Consulate. Victor Hwang is the Assistant District Attorney prosecuting the case.

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