Colorado man who committed hate crime in Oregon is sentenced to prison

A Colorado man who pleaded guilty to a federal hate crime, for stabbing a Black man in the neck in Oregon, has been sentenced to federal prison.

Nolan Levi Strauss, 27, was sentenced Thursday to 16 years in federal prison and five years of supervised release, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

The Dec. 21, 2019, stabbing, at an Ontario, Ore., fast-food outlet, was unprovoked and based solely on the victim’s race. Strauss told a worker at the eatery, just after the attack, that he had stabbed the victim “because he was Black, and I don’t like Black people,” according to prosecutors.

The victim, who was unacquainted with Strauss, was at the restaurant as part of a job application. Strauss approached him from behind during the attack. He was arrested at the scene. The victim was flown to a hospital in Boise, Idaho, for emergency surgery for two large neck lacerations.

On Sept. 17, 2020, a federal grand jury in Eugene returned a one-count indictment charging Strauss with a hate crime involving an attempt to kill. He pleaded guilty to the charge on June 17, according to a news release.

“This defendant is being held accountable for his brutal and racially-motivated attack against a Black man carried out because of the color of his skin,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, in the release. “Racially motivated attacks have no place in our society, and the Civil Rights Division will continue to vigorously enforce federal laws that prohibit bias motivated violence.”

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