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Massachusetts Woman Charged with Intimidating Jewish Neighbors with Antisemitic Messages

A woman has been charged with leaving five swastikas in the yard of a Stoneham, Massachusetts, court documents show.

Kathleen Collins, of Woburn, faces a civil rights violation and a felony charge of intimidating a witness over the incident, discovered the day after Halloween, according to documents filed in Woburn District Court. They reveal that police suspect that Collins was targeting the woman who lived at the home, a lawyer who had represented her ex-boyfriend in a child custody dispute.

Stoneham police had previously confirmed that they were investigating the incident, in which five pieces of purple paper cut into swastikas were found on the lawn along with a melted candle, as a hate crime.

The family that was targeted, which is Jewish, has previously told NBC10 Boston they were disturbed by what happened, and the attorney allegedly targeted in the incident said Wednesday that she hopes Collins faces culpability for the actions.

Collins told NBC10 Boston she denied the charges, which she’s due to face in court next month.

The swastikas had hateful and antisemitic messages written on them, including “Go to hell.” According to the court documents, the police investigation found that Collins had previously said the attorney had “got it coming to her” and urged her ex not to cooperate in the investigation — leading to a witness intimidation charge.

The incident shook the community — state Rep. Michael Day called it “a disgraceful, horrific incident for our community” — and came amid a rise of antisemitism and other acts of hate statewide and around the country.

Source: https://www.nbcboston.com/news/local/woman-charged-over-swastikas-left-on-stoneham-lawn-halloween-night/3025652/