PSU news by
Penn State's student blog



Penn State Case Included In ABC News Report On Connection Between Trump’s Rhetoric And Hate Crimes

Following President Donald Trump’s claims that he deserves “no blame” for instances of intolerance throughout the nation, ABC News released a report that identified 17 criminal cases in which Trump’s name was invoked in direct connection with violent acts, threats of violence, or allegations of assault.

One of those cases was a December 2015 incident that happened at Penn State.

The case involved then-Penn State student Nicholas Tavella, who was charged with ethnic intimidation after following another student of Indian decent home to Nittany Apartments, asking him if he was “going to rape a girl,” and threatening, “don’t make me put a bullet in your chest.”

Police reported that Tavella appeared intoxicated and he admitted that he “probably grabbed him” and “probably said something racist,” but did not remember because he had been drinking.

Tavella’s attorney argued that his client was motivated by “love of country,” not “hate,” and that Trump’s rhetoric following the Paris attacks weeks prior “may have incited fear of suspicious individuals.”

The ethnic intimidation charge against Tavella was initially dropped by Judge Allen Sinclair, but after an “error of law” was ruled months later, it was reinstated.

Tavella pleaded guilty to the felony charge and was sentenced to up to two years in prison.

ABC News claimed it was not able to find any similar cases of echoing presidential rhetoric from George Bush or Barack Obama in connection with hate crimes.

Your ad blocker is on.

Please choose an option below.

Sign up for our e-mail newsletter:
Support quality journalism:
Purchase a Subscription!

About the Author

Steve Connelly

Steve Connelly is a senior majoring in PR and an editor for Onward State. He is a proud native of the state of New Jersey, and yes, he is literal trash. He is a soccer fan, nap enthusiast, and chicken tender connoisseur. He tries to be a photographer sometimes despite one of his photos inspiring the name of his future sports bar, the Blurry Zamboni. You can follow him on Twitter @slc2o (feel free to slide), email him at [email protected], or come say hi to him in his office, the Irving's basement.


Other posts by Steve

Penn State Softball Exchanges Comebacks With Bucknell To Split Doubleheader

The Bison came from behind to win the opener, but the Nittany Lions used their own comeback to win the second matchup with a walk-off hit from senior first baseman Meghan Williams.

NCAA Corruption Trial: Financial Advisor Testifies He Paid Former Penn State Football Player

Penn State Softball Powers Past Maryland

Econ Professor Jadrian Wooten Discusses High Rises, Changing Downtown Landscape

How might high rises change the renters market in State College?

Steps Toward A Greener Earth: THON’s Push To Become More Environmentally Friendly

“This year marks an important landmark in the THON community’s ability to recognize the problem, but it is an uphill battle from here to find solutions.”

Send this to a friend