Last week, police announced the seizure of 83 guns, with 10,000 rounds of ammo and a Nazi helmet from the house of a Massachusetts man. Robert Ivarson, 49, of Lexington, is facing civil rights and harassment charges for allegedly littering the driveway of a black family with banana peels. Following the discovery of the weapons arsenal, Ivarson is facing 13 new charges. In addition to the guns and ammo, law enforcement also found 50 pounds of black powder in the man’s residence.
Ivarson faces multiple counts of possession of a firearm without a license, possession of ammunition without a license, and possession of a large-capacity feeding device. He also faces one count of being an armed career criminal. According to investigators, Ivarson was under video surveillance at the time of the banana incident. He allegedly threw the peels onto the victim’s property on three consecutive days. According to CBS, Ivarson is currently on house arrest, facing hate crime charges. He will be arraigned for the weapons charges this week. If you’ve been charged with any type of criminal offense, contact a Boston defense attorney today.
According to Massachusetts state Attorney General Maura Healey, there has been an increase in reports of harassment of minorities, immigrants, and Muslims since the election. In response, Healey created a hotline for MA residents to report hate crimes. “This is just about making sure that people understand that we’re going to protect their rights, we’re going to work to protect their safety, and there is no place for bias-motivated threats, harassment or violence anywhere here in Massachusetts,” said Healey.
Hate Crime Punishment
So, what is the punishment for a hate crime in Massachusetts? And what constitutes a hate crime? Generally speaking, a hate crime is a traditional crime that is motivated by a bias toward a person who is a member of a protected group. For example, throwing a rock threw a random window is a crime, but not a hate crime. If, however, the rock is thrown into the window because the occupant is black, gay, Muslim, or a member of another protected group, it is probably a hate crime.
In the state of MA, there are three elements to a hate crime:
- Underlying crime: This can be property damage, assault, or battery.
- Intent: The act must not have been an accident. Rather, the offender must have acted to intimidate or threaten the victim.
- Victim’s protected status: Protected status includes race, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, or gender identity.
Generally speaking, hate crimes are prosecuted by the District Attorney’s Office. In some cases, however, the defendant may be prosecuted civilly instead of criminally, or in addition to criminal charges. If you’ve been charged with any type of crime, contact a Boston criminal defense lawyer today.
Altman & Altman, LLP – Criminal Defense Attorneys Serving All of MA
If you have been charged with a criminal offense, the skilled defense team at Altman & Altman, LLP can help. We have been fighting for the rights of individuals charged with crimes for more than 50 years. We understand that good people can make mistakes, and that simple misunderstandings can become complicated and messy. If you are facing criminal charges, we will analyze the details of your case to determine the best possible strategy for moving forward. We will fight tirelessly to protect your rights, reputation, and freedom. Our legal team has an impressive track record of getting clients’ charges reduced, or dismissed entirely. We will make sure you understand your rights and options before moving forward. If you are facing charges for any type of crime, we can help. Contact Altman & Altman, LLP today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.