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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Guilty Verdict, but No Hate-Crime Conviction, in Assault on Mexican Citizens in Tenderloin

Posted By and on Thu, Oct 13, 2011 at 4:20 PM


Two white men were convicted of assaulting two Mexican citizens outside a Tenderloin bar, although a jury did not buy prosecutors' allegations that the assault was racially motivated and constituted a hate crime, the office of District Attorney George Gascón announced today.

The case stemmed from an attack on Mexican nationals Alex Cauich and Jose Omar Cauich on Nov. 10, 2010 in front of the Nitecap Bar at O'Farrell and Hyde. Robert Allen, 39, and Justin Meskan, 29, were both found guilty of felony assault with intent to cause great bodily injury and battery.

The men could face nine-and-a-half and eight-and-a-half years of prison, respectively, said DA's office spokesperson Stephanie Ong Stillman.

Witnesses reported hearing the men yell "white power" and "run like you run across the border" during the attack. After Allen's arrest, investigators said they found Nazi and white supremacist "paraphernalia" at his apartment.

However, the jury refused to convict the men of a hate crime. "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," Assistant District Attorney Victor Hwang said in a statement, based on his conversations with jurors after the verdict.

A third defendant, Anthony Weston, had earlier pleaded guilty to charges resulting from the incident.

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