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ADL Welcomes Sentencing of Two Men for Federal Hate Crime Against Gay African American Man

  • February 18, 2016

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) applauds Corpus Christi Police, the FBI, the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of Texas and the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division for the successful prosecution and sentencing of two men who pleaded guilty to a hate crime in connection with their attack on a gay African American man in Corpus Christi.

33-year-old Jimmy Garza and 23-year-old Ramiro Serrata, Jr. each were sentenced to 15 years in federal prison and ordered to pay $10,800 in restitution, serve three years of supervised release and register as sex offenders.  They pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit hate crimes and violating the Mathew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crime Prevention Act.

Garza and Serrata admitted to punching and kicking the victim, and battering him with numerous weapons including a handgun, frying pan, a mug, a sock filled with batteries and a belt.  They sodomized the victim with a broom handle and poured bleach onto the victim’s face and into his eyes.

Senior U.S. District Judge Hayden Head’s remarks during the sentencing reflected the horrific nature of the crime.  Judge Head said the attackers had abandoned their humanity to the “viciousness of animals.”  He said the punishment should send a message that their behavior won’t be tolerated in a civilized society.

“We applaud investigators, prosecutors, and Federal Judge Hayden Head for the prosecution and sentencing of Jimmy Garza and Ramiro Serrata, Jr., and for once again successfully using the Mathew Shepard andJames Byrd, Jr. Hate Crime Prevention Act,” said ADL Associate Director Dena Marks.

“U.S. Attorney Ken Magidson, and Justice Department prosecutors and their staffs continue to use the federal hate crime law to bring the perpetrators of these heinous crimes to justice, and convey that such crimes will be fully prosecuted and punished,” Marks added.    “We hope their efforts also deter future hate crimes in our region, and across the country.”

ADL is one of this country’s foremost civil rights organizations.   ADL drafted the model hate crime law used in 45 states and the District of Columbia and helped secure passage of the Mathew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crime Prevention Act.   ADL is working to improve the response to all hate crimes with its #50StatesAgainstHate Initiative.

For further comment or to set up an interview, call Dena Marks at 832-975-8310 or via cell at 832-567-8843.