A Sidney man is facing charges linked to an alleged hate crime in the village of Sidney, New York.

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The alleged crime

Per Delaware County District Attorney Shawn Smith on November 20th, 34 year old Donald Kern, a resident of Sidney has been accused of threatening and spitting on an African American woman, also a Sidney resident.

A press release states that Kern threatened to “get a noose and hang her”. It is also alleged that he spit on her and called her the N word multiple times. Kern was indicted by the Delaware County Grand Jury on Thursday, November 16th 2023. He has been accused of Aggravated Harassment in the Second Degree, Class E Felony. The case was presented to the grand jury by Chief Assistant District Attorney Richard Northrup.

District Attorney Shawn Smith said: “hate-fueled crimes that target people based on their race or color will not be tolerated, and I will work with law enforcement to make sure anyone engaging in that conduct is held accountable for their actions”.

Past charges

This is not Kern's first brush with the law. According to the Delaware County Sherriff's Office, in 2018, he was charged with the class E felony crime of Aggravated Cruelty to Animals following a lengthy investigation.

State penalties

In the State of New York, Class E Felonies carry possible penalties of 1.5-4 years in a state prison, 1.2-3 years of post release supervision, probation for 10 years, fines up to $5,000, and mandatory surcharges.

Per New York State law: "A hate crime is a traditional offense that is motivated by bias. A person commits a hate crime when one of a specified set of crimes is committed targeting a victim because of a perception or belief about their race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious practice, age, disability or sexual orientation, or when such an act is committed as a result of that type of perception or belief. These crimes can target an individual, a group of individuals or public or private property."

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