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FBI Investigates Alleged Hate Crime

June 30, 2005 – Federal officials said Thursday they were taking "very seriously" a recent alleged hate crime incident on St. John. On June 20, Jerry and Esther Frett awoke at their East End home to find racial epithets and a hangman's noose drawn on their car.
U.S. Attorney Anthony Jenkins and FBI Special Agent-in-Charge Luis A. Fraticelli said in a news release that the FBI is investigating the incident.
FBI spokesperson Brenda Diaz said Thursday from San Juan that the agency has no further comment.
"There is no new information," she said.
Media inquiries at the U.S. Attorney's office were referred to Assistant U.S. Attorney James Carroll, who did not call back.
Jenkins said that crimes deemed to be motivated by hatred of an individual's race, religion, gender and national origin are crimes that "attack the very fabric of a free multi-racial and multi-cultural society."
He said the U.S. Justice Department and the FBI will use all legal avenues to bring the perpetrators to justice. If an investigation determines who wrote the words, that person will be vigorously prosecuted.
If convicted on federal charges, that person faces 10 years or more in prison. Local charges may also apply.
Neither of the Fretts could be reached for comment. Esther Frett said at the time of the incident that this was another chapter in a series of events that began at her House of Dolls store at Meada's Plaza in Cruz Bay.
She outlined a series of seemingly racially motivated incidents including one in which she was shoved by another store owner. That person was arrested on assault charges.

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