The United States Attorney’s Office (USAO), Eastern District of North Carolina hosted “United Against Hate”, a community outreach program on Wednesday, June 20th. The event featured representatives from the USAO civil and criminal division, FBI, State and local law enforcement, Legal Aid of NC, and other State and local agencies/organizations and served to educate the community on how to identify and report hate crimes.
One event panel highlighted the stories of victims of Fair Housing violations which resulted in both a criminal conviction and a civil settlement. In the case of the criminal conviction, the defendant was sentenced to 28 months in federal prison for using racial slurs and threatening the lives of a Black family, which is a criminal violation of the Federal Fair Housing Act. The civil settlement involved employees of a non-profit that administered a federal housing program who were alleged to have sexually harassed several women, including asking for sexual favors in exchange for Section 8 housing vouchers, which is a violation of the Federal Fair Housing Act. The non-profit and former employees involved were ordered to pay a $2.7 million settlement to the women named in the lawsuit, a fund for other victims who have yet to come forward, and attorneys’ fees.
This event was a part of the USAO’s larger United Against Hate Initiative, which was established in 2022 to build stronger relationships of trust between members of the public, law enforcement, community organizations, and other government agencies in an effort to stop unlawful acts of hate and to improve reporting of such crimes.
To learn more about any of the initiatives or cases mentioned in this article refer to the links below: