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July 22, 11

NEWS / Indianapolis Woman Sentenced for Racially Motivated Arson Threat

INDIANAPOLIS—Joseph Hogsett, United States Attorney, announced that Sheryl Small, of Indianapolis, was sentenced today in federal court for charges stemming from a racially motivated threat to burn down a home that two African-American women were preparing to rent on the near-westside of Indianapolis in September of 2009.

Small pled guilty to an indictment that charged her with interfering with the housing rights of another, in violation of the Fair Housing Act. Small admitted that she threatened to burn a home that two African-American women were preparing to rent. Small was sentenced by Judge Tanya Walton Pratt to six months’ imprisonment, followed thereafter by three years’ supervised release.

Hogsett said, “The need for deterrence in a crime like this cannot be overstated. Ms. Small is the sixth defendant since 2008 to be sentenced in the Southern District of Indiana for a criminal civil rights violation. All Hoosiers have a right to live with their families in homes free from threat or harassment. We will vigilantly protect all Hoosier families.”

Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Booz Moise and Task Force Officer Andrew Shank investigated this case. The case was prosecuted by Trial Attorney Betsy Biffl from the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice.




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