A podcaster and neo-Nazi fugitive has again been sanctioned by a federal judge in a major muster trial.
Robert “Azzmador” Ray received sanctions from U.S. Magistrate Judge Joel C. Hoppe in the form of authenticated evidence on September 23, deeming all documents, photos and videos from a number of Ray’s social media accounts to be authentic.
Specifically, the evidence authenticated by Hoppe’s order established the fact in the event that Ray “entered into an agreement with one or more co-conspirators to engage in racially motivated violence in Charlottesville, Virginia” on the 11th and August 12, 2017; that Ray “was motivated by animosity against racial minorities, Jewish people and their supporters when he conspired to engage in acts of intimidation and violence”; that “it was reasonably foreseeable to Ray and intended by him that co-conspirators would commit acts of racially motivated violence and intimidation”; and that Ray “ratified racially motivated violence” after Unite the Right.
Filed on behalf of various Charlottesville-area residents following the August 12, 2017, deadly Unite the Right rally, the Sines v. Kessler is targeting more than a dozen key attendees and organizers. The suit accuses the defendants of conspiring to plan racially motivated violence at the rally, as well as the torch rally on the grounds of the University of Virginia the night before.
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The long-running prosecution has seen several defendants disciplined for withholding documents via what is known as the authorization of adverse inference from jury instructions. This means that plaintiffs’ attorneys will be allowed to tell a jury that they can interpret defendants’ actions to have been made in bad faith.
Even among those sanctioned, Ray stands out due to his apparent disappearance and fugitive status – both for a criminal warrant stemming from the August 11 torch rally and a contempt of court warrant for not -respect last year. Ray is also accused in the lawsuit of helping plan the torch rally, which drew global condemnation in its wake due to the violence and hate speech spewed out by participants.
The plaintiffs’ latest penalty filing asked the court to find that Ray engaged in intimidation and violence as part of a racist conspiracy and to consider authentic evidence, including documents, photographs and videos. .
Among this evidence are screenshots of messages sent via the Discord communication service, where Ray was “an active participant on the Southern Front server, where he recruited Unite the Right participants, gave them instructions on what gear to bring and made explicit his violent intentions for the weekend.”
Hoppe’s sanctions were applauded by plaintiffs’ representatives.
“Today’s decision establishes key facts that are at the heart of our plaintiffs’ case. “Azzmador” Ray was at the heart of the racist and violent conspiracy in Charlottesville four years ago – and this decision will have a huge impact in proving that conspiracy at trial next month,” said Amy Spitalnick, director of Integrity First for America, the group funding the lawsuit. “No matter how these defendants flout their accountability, our team is committed to bringing them to justice.”
“Ray has made it clear that he will not comply with this court’s discovery orders, even under threat of monetary penalties, civil contempt, arrest and detention,” Hoppe wrote. “Well-tailored evidentiary penalties will still allow Ray to defend himself at the next civil trial if he so chooses and will not have an impermissible ‘spillover’ effect on any defendant who has not disobeyed a discovery order.”
Hoppe’s memo opinion also includes details about Ray’s background, including his work for the Daily Stormer blog, a hate site for which he has written and published articles.
In Hoppe’s opinion, which cites available evidence, Unite the Right featured prominently on the Daily Stormer’s website and staff produced their own poster advertising the event, urging subscribers to “Join Azzmador and The Daily Stormer” in Charlottesville on August 12 “to end Jewish influence in America.
Ray and his colleague Andrew Anglin encouraged Daily Stormer readers to bring as many people as possible to the rally, Hoppe wrote, saying there was “a nationalist movement on the rise in America and it is not going away. not”. The appeal further claimed that the fact that “thousands of nationalists are showing up for this rally will put the fear of God into the hearts and minds of our enemies”.
Additionally, Hoppe wrote that two articles on the Daily Stormer’s website asked subscribers to bring tiki torches, pepper spray, flag poles, flags and shields. Using the Daily Stormer website, Ray helped organize the Torch Rally on UVa Grounds and asked attendees to bring the now infamous tiki torches.
Although it was apparently a “secret rally,” word got out and about 30 counter-protesters showed up on the UVa grounds, Hoppe wrote, and were attacked by the rally rallies. torch, including Ray.
“Ray yelled, ‘The heat here is nothing compared to what you’re going to get in the ovens! ‘” Hoppe wrote, citing evidence. “He later proclaimed that the walkers “had crossed [the counter-protestors] like shit through a goose!
Ray, currently on the run, could not be reached for comment.
In June 2018, an Albemarle County grand jury indicted Ray on one count of maliciously releasing gas during the August 11 torch rally. Ray is still listed as a fugitive in publicly available Virginia court records.
Le Sines v. Kessler is due to start Oct. 25 in federal court in Charlottesville and could last up to four weeks.