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Oregon State Student Convicted of Hate Crime

Corvallis police say Oswalt and an accomplice placed bumper stickers with a racist slur about African Americans on cars at a food co-op in June 2017.

Posted: Nov 29, 2018 2:27 PM
Updated: Nov 29, 2018 3:41 PM

CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon State University student with ties to white nationalists in the Pacific Northwest was convicted Thursday on charges related to putting offensive stickers on the cars of members of a racial justice group.

Benton County Circuit Court Judge David Connell found Andrew Oswalt guilty of all five criminal counts stemming from the June 2017 incident that came to light while Oswalt served as a student government representative, The Oregonian reported .

Prosecutors had charged the Ph.D. candidate in chemistry with three counts of intimidation, a felony hate crime under Oregon statute. He was also charged with two counts of criminal mischief, a misdemeanor.

"The impact of his actions goes beyond the vehicles and individuals he targeted," said Ryan Joslin, Benton County prosecuting attorney. "His intent was to terrorize an entire community."

Corvallis police say Oswalt and an accomplice placed bumper stickers with a racist slur about black people on two cars at a Corvallis food co-op in June 2017.

The vehicles belonged to members of the Corvallis chapter of Showing Up For Racial Justice, which held a meeting at the co-op to discuss ways to combat white supremacy as well as those promoting racist or bigoted views in the area, prosecutors said in court.

A co-op employee also discovered anti-Semitic leaflets on the windshields of every car in the staff parking lot at the time.

Police said officers later searched Oswalt's residence and found matching bumper stickers and fliers. Oswalt was identified through surveillance footage from the scene, police said. Police never identified the second suspect.

Oswalt's attorney, Nicolas Ortiz, argued in court that prosecution had failed to conclusively prove whether Oswalt placed the stickers and that the state had not proved that Oswalt knew anything about the individual attendees of the meeting so he could not have been targeting them over their race or religion as required by the intimidation statute.

Oswalt declined to comment after the verdict was announced, according to the Gazette-Times. Ortiz suggested in comments to the judge that he was considering an appeal.

In January, Oswalt was ousted from his student government role following his arrest and after the student newspaper published an interview with him in which he shared inflammatory thoughts about minorities and women.

Oswalt affirmed those beliefs in a January email to The Oregonian, saying white people have greater intelligence than other racial or ethnic groups. He said he prefers to be known as an "ethno-nationalist."

He will be sentenced Dec. 12.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 132412

Reported Deaths: 1799
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah28237458
Washington18512171
Marion16085238
Clackamas11577138
Lane8219108
Jackson686284
Umatilla670968
Deschutes490736
Yamhill316245
Malheur312452
Linn310246
Klamath242238
Polk241340
Josephine170633
Jefferson168725
Benton168414
Douglas166643
Union110416
Wasco106323
Columbia103318
Lincoln98517
Hood River94821
Coos93315
Morrow92710
Clatsop6695
Crook60410
Baker5665
Tillamook3622
Curry3185
Lake2295
Grant2131
Harney1734
Wallowa963
Gilliam481
Sherman470
Wheeler201
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2955323

Reported Deaths: 33342
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles100392313741
San Bernardino2482851560
Riverside2352352517
San Diego2098972065
Orange2093652320
Santa Clara914661060
Kern83547558
Sacramento802791080
Fresno79950932
Alameda65679757
Ventura59061412
San Joaquin56484748
Contra Costa50627430
Stanislaus41925739
Tulare40176501
Monterey34959249
San Mateo31291294
San Francisco28574254
Imperial24944463
Solano24654105
Santa Barbara23538228
Merced23492296
Sonoma23204234
Kings18661110
Placer16761173
San Luis Obispo15129128
Madera12883130
Santa Cruz11776113
Marin11345153
Yolo10240131
Shasta9594117
Butte9233121
El Dorado751544
Sutter748477
Napa723139
Lassen509413
San Benito485043
Yuba481827
Tehama397142
Tuolumne330438
Nevada309973
Mendocino307631
Amador295329
Lake243428
Humboldt226324
Glenn182419
Colusa16919
Calaveras153823
Siskiyou140813
Mono10834
Inyo92429
Del Norte8472
Plumas5735
Modoc3783
Mariposa3434
Trinity3024
Alpine730
Sierra700
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