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CAIR-Florida Disappointed With Sentencing of Pasco County Resident Convicted After Harassing Muslim Neighbors – Asks For Hate Crimes Enhancement Legislation in Florida

(Tampa, Fla., December 20, 2019) The Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Florida), the state’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today expressed their surprise with an upsettingly lenient sentence of one year supervised probation imposed on David Allen Boileau, a Pasco resident accused of threatening and intimidating his Muslim neighbors and invading their home.

On Thursday, December 19th, a federal judge at the U. S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, sentenced David Allen Boileau to one year of supervised probation for interfering with the victim's housing rights in violation of U.S.C. §3631 (a) and (c). The sentence disregarded the prosecutor’s recommendation that the sentence include jail time, the use of monitoring device, and extended period of supervised probation. Boileau was accused of threatening, harassing, and intimidating his neighbor because of her Muslim faith and Iraqi origin.

CAIR-Florida Civil Rights Director Thania Clevenger, stated, “We commend the U.S. Attorney’s successful prosecution of this crime. Before sentencing, we hoped that the sentence would send a strong message to anyone considering harassing or intimidating members of the Muslim or Arab communities or any other ethnic or religious minority. Unfortunately, there is a disconnect of the judiciary with the gravity and consequences that crimes like this have on families in who belong to religious and ethnic minorities. A sentence of only one-year probation in a case like this clearly missed the deterrence and rehabilitation purposes of our justice system.”

CAIR-Florida Government Affairs coordinator Norma Henning added that, “At a time when Americans are increasingly targeted with violence and intimidation because of their faith, the Florida legislature urgently needs to consider hate-crimes enhancement legislation to protect all religious, racial and ethnic minorities. The current legal vacuum makes it extremely difficult for state law enforcement, prosecutors and the judicial system to act when faced with criminals who are motivated by prejudice and hate. This is an urgent matter. This family is still scared, particularly since the offender had previously violated court orders. State hate crime legislation would be a big help in making the community feel safe.”

The Tampa Bay Times reported as follows regarding the victim impact statement read to the Court by victim Rana Al-Hakeem:

“Because of Boileau’s behavior, Al-Hakeem said she quit wearing a hijab, a head covering worn by some Muslim women. She quit a teaching job at a local Islamic school for fear of attracting unwanted attention. Her children were afraid to be in their own house and at one point left to stay with their grandparents. Her son no longer walked to his school bus stop. Her sister no longer visited.

“I don’t believe he has any respect for the law,” Al-Hakeem told the judge. “He even made death threats to my neighbors for coming to my aid.”

“My family and I deserve protection of the law no matter what religion we practice,” she said. “I never thought in a free country my religion would affect my life and my neighbors’ lives in a negative way.” She wept during her testimony.

SEE: Judge: No more jail time for man who intimidated Iraqi-American woman; https://www.tampabay.com/news/2019/12/19/judge-no-more-jail-time-for-man-who-intimidated-iraqi-american-woman/

CAIR’s 2019 ”˜Bias Brief’ shows 10,015 anti-Muslim incidents since 2014.

SEE: https://www.cair.com/new_cair_bias_brief_shows_10_015_anti_muslim_incidents_since_2014 

CAIR-Florida is the state’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

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CAIR-Florida's mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

La misión de CAIR-Florida es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, proteger las libertades civiles, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.

 

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