Holyoke Man Found Guilty, Sentenced to Jail in Connection with Violating Civil Rights
Defendant Engaged in Race-Based Harassment of Neighbors
SPRINGFIELD – A Holyoke man has been found guilty in connection with the racial harassment of his tenant in violation of her civil rights and sentenced to jail, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced today.
Following a two day trial, a Hampden Superior Court jury found Jesse Jedrzejczyk, 58, guilty on the charge of Civil Rights Violation. Following the verdict Judge Daniel Ford sentenced Jedrzejczyk to one year in the house of correction, six months to serve with the balance suspended for one year. Jedrzejczyk was further ordered to attend counseling per his probation, comply with the permanent injunction, engage in substance abuse evaluations, and stay away from and have no contact with the victims.
“The defendant harassed and intimidated victims despite being subject to a court order due to similar behavior in the past,” AG Coakley said. "This verdict and sentence shows that bias and hate-motivated conduct is not tolerated in Massachusetts.”
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, Jedrzejczyk engaged in substantially similar behavior toward his tenant and her infant child because of their perceived race. Jedrzejczyk rented the first floor apartment in his building to his tenant. The tenant, a white female, was three months pregnant at the time she moved into the defendant’s building. After the tenant brought home her newborn biracial infant, Jedrzejczyk regularly harassed his tenant using racial slurs thereby intimidating his tenant, creating concern for her infant’s safety and, ultimately, forcing her to move from her home.
A Hampden County grand jury returned indictments against Jedrzejczyk on October 23, 2012. Jedrzejczyk was arraigned in Hampden Superior Court on November 8, 2012 where he pleaded not guilty and was ordered held on $10,000 bail. Jedrzejczyk was found guilty on May 24 by a Hampden Superior Court jury following a two day trial and was sentenced to jail.
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.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorneys General Beth A. Lux, of the Criminal Division and Ann E. Lynch, of the Civil Rights Division, with assistance from Victim Witness Advocate Ashley Cinelli and members of the Massachusetts State Police assigned to the AG’s Office.