For Immediate Release - October 24, 2012

Holyoke Man Indicted in Connection with Violating Permanent Civil Rights Injunction

Defendant Allegedly Continues to Engage in Race-Based Harassment of Neighbors

SPRINGFIELD – A Holyoke man has been indicted in connection with the racial harassment of his tenant in violation of a civil rights injunction obtained by the Attorney General’s Office in 2009, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced today. 

Jesse Jedrzejczyk, 57, of Holyoke, has been indicted on charges of Violation of a Permanent Injunction, Criminal Harassment, and Civil Rights Violation.   

In 2009, the Attorney General’s Office filed a Superior Court civil action against Jedrzejczyk pursuant to the Massachusetts Civil Rights Act and obtained a permanent injunction against him based on allegations that he threatened, intimidated, and harassed a neighbor and her young daughters because of their perceived race. Despite being subject to the Superior Court order, authorities allege that Jedrzejczyk recently engaged in substantially similar behavior toward another neighbor and her infant child because of their perceived race. Authorities allege that Jedrzejczyk regularly used racial slurs and physical harassment to intimidate his tenant and create concern for her infant’s safety.   

A Hampden County grand jury returned indictments against Jedrzejczyk on Tuesday. Jedrzejczyk will be arraigned in Hampden Superior Court on November 7.

AG Coakley’s Civil Rights Division works to protect the civil rights of all residents and visitors to Massachusetts. The Attorney General’s Office may obtain an injunction if an individual is the victim of threats, intimidation, or coercion on the basis of a protected category or a protected activity pursuant to the Massachusetts Civil Rights Act, commonly referred to as the “hate crimes” statute.

Since taking office in 2007, Attorney General Martha Coakley's office has obtained more than 40 civil rights injunctions on behalf of victims of hate crimes, often working in close collaboration with police departments and District Attorney’s offices throughout the Commonwealth. In addition to the prosecution of cases, the Civil Rights Division actively provides trainings to police officers, school personnel, and community groups to aid in the recognition and understanding of bias-motivated incidents and how to properly respond.

A violation of a civil rights injunction is a criminal offense punishable by a fine up to $5,000 and/or imprisonment in a house of correction for up to two and a half years.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorneys General Beth A. Lux, of the Criminal Division, and Ann E. Lynch, of the Civil Rights Division, with assistance from members of the Massachusetts State Police assigned to the AG’s Office.

##########

Follow us on Twitter – View our Photos – Visit our Website