A Win Against Antisemitism and Hate Speech

August 22, 2019

Media Statement

Toronto (August 22, 2019) - Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) supports today’s decision by Judge Richard Blouin to sentence Your Ward News editor James Sears to one year in jail.

“Finally, after too many years of having a platform to spew his hateful views, justice has been served and Sears will face the consequences for distributing such antisemitic and disturbing content that targeted the Jewish community and women,” said FSWC President and CEO Avi Benlolo. “This ruling serves as a reminder that hate crimes, including hate speech, will not be taken lightly in this country and committing such acts could result in imprisonment.”

The judge proceeded with sentencing after denying Sears’ bid to reopen the trial. Sears – along with the paper’s publisher, LeRoy St. Germaine, who will be sentenced next week – was found guilty in January of willfully promoting hatred against women and Jewish people.

Over the last three years, FSWC launched private police complaints, met with hate crime investigators and filed reports regarding Your Ward News with the help of Lawyers4Wiesenthal members. Most recently, Benlolo wrote a victim impact statement for the trial and attended some of the sessions to support and encourage the Crown and police.

The organization thanks the Toronto Police Service and Crown prosecutors who helped in this very big win against antisemitism.

Media Contact:

Avital Borisovsky
Communications Associate
416-864-9735 ext. 29

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