SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — A San Francisco man has been found guilty of 13 misdemeanors after allegedly vandalizing and defacing property with racist comments.
He was found guilty of seven counts of vandalism and six counts of a hate crime by way of defacing property, prosecutors said.
Sixty-two-year-old John Schenone was caught on surveillance video writing “no more Chinese” in areas of San Francisco, which have a high population of Chinese residents.
The first reports of graffiti came in last Septemeber, and it has been an on-going investigation.
Schenone’s truck was spotted in the surveillance videos, and police said the paint used to commit the hate crimes was found at his residence, leading to the arrest.
“Racism has no place in San Francisco,” District Attorney George Gascón said Thursday following the verdict. “We pride ourselves on being a diverse, tolerant and inclusive city. Actions such as these strike at the heart of who we are and the values we hold dear.”
Deputy Public Defender Bonnie Chan, who represented Schenone, Thursday said she was “extremely disappointed” with the verdict and planned to file a motion for a new trial.
“We all have a Constitutional right to express our opinions, however unpopular they may be with the public,” Chan said, noting that the judge had reduced the charges from felonies to misdemeanors because Schenone did not threaten, target or physically harm anyone.
“Like it or not, racism alone is not a crime,” Chan said. “From the beginning, this case has been based on emotions rather than law.” Schenone is scheduled to return to court Feb. 5 for sentencing.
Bay City News contributed to this report.