Denise Cote, a federal judge in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, sentenced Saadah Masoud on March 3 to 18 months in prison and three years of supervised release.
Masoud, 29, of Staten Island, N.Y., pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit hate crimes for attacking Jews wearing recognizable Jewish and Israeli symbols in 2021 and 2022.
“Saadah Masoud repeatedly attacked New Yorkers based on their religion and national origin. The prosecution of this case and the sentence imposed today make clear that hate-fueled violence will not be tolerated in our community and that this office will be unrelenting in our efforts to hold accountable those who perpetrate senseless crimes of hate,” stated Damian Williams, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York.
StopAntisemitism.org applauded New York’s streets being safer for Jews but stated that the sentence was suboptimal.
It represents a “much-needed demonstration that the justice system takes antisemitic incidents like these seriously,” said Liora Rez, executive director of the watchdog group. “We hope that this sets a precedent for other would-be assailants; you will be held accountable for your antisemitic bigotry and violence.”
Masoud’s lawyers had requested six months—a sentence in line with a “slap on the wrist” sentence that a colleague of his received, also for attacking a Jew.
StopAntisemitism shared the news with their supporters.
During sentencing, Masoud’s defense attorneys attempted to blame their client’s violence on everything from anti-Black racism to his father’s own struggles.
Judge Cote told Masoud he had severe anger issues he had to deal with.— StopAntisemitism (@StopAntisemites) March 3, 2023
“We thank law enforcement for keeping this dangerous individual off the streets,” the American Jewish Committee tweeted of Masoud. “Targeting Jews for supporting Israel is a blatantly antisemitic act.”