Update August 26th: Christopher Rascoll has been sentenced to three years in federal prison on hate crime charges; more here.
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Leonard C Boyle, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and David Sundberg, Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, today announced that Christopher Rascoll , 49, of Blauvelt, New York, pleaded guilty yesterday before U.S. District Judge Kari A. Dooley in Bridgeport to federal hate crime offenses related to his making antisemitic death threats to a resident of Stratford, Connecticut.
According to court documents and statements made in court, in November 2019, Rascoll began making numerous threats to an individual, who is of Jewish faith, through text messages, voicemails and Facebook posts. In several text messages, which continued into June 2020, Rascoll threatened to murder or seriously injure the victim. He also threatened to blow up the victim’s house and car. Some of Rascoll’s threatening text messages contained antisemitic references to the Holocaust. On December 23, 2019, Rascoll sent a message that included the words “Suns about to go down. It would be a shame if your house were used to light the menorah. Or turned in a gas chamber.”
On April 8, 2020, Rascoll wrote “I’m going to kill you. You better be gone because if you’re in [the victim’s housing community] Easter weekend I’m going to stick you in an oven. Or I’m going to shoot you.”
Rascoll pleaded guilty to one count of interference with the right to fair housing, a hate crime, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years, and one count of sending threatening communications, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of five years.
Judge Dooley scheduled sentencing for July 27, 2021; Rascoll has been detained since his arrest on June 26, 2020.
This matter has been investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with assistance from the Stratford Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sarala V. Nagala and Amanda S. Oakes.