Best watch these two when they get out. One of them has already been in jail twice before for hate crimes.
BOSTON, MA – The first act of violence associated with the Donald Trump presidential campaign happened on Aug. 19, when brothers Scott and Steve Leader assaulted a homeless Mexican man, Scott Leader saying they did it, according to a police statement, because “Donald Trump was right: All these illegals need to be deported.”
Unfortunately for them, the only ones who were engaged in something illegal that night were them as the homeless man, Guillermo Rodriguez, was actually a permanent resident of the United States. On Monday, the Leader Brothers were sentenced to up to three years in prison after previously pleading guilty to charges of causing bodily injury while committing a civil rights violation, as well as assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, among other charges.
According to a statement by the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, Scott Leader was sentenced to three years in prison and Steve Leader was sentenced to 1-1/2 years. The two will also be on probation for three years after their prison sentences end. “(The attack was) both cowardly and despicable in our society,” Superior Court Judge Krupp said. “Each of you has already done a house (of correction) sentence, this will be your first time in state prison. There will certainly be more to come if this behavior continues when you get out.”
Nicole Rimar, an assistant district attorney with the Suffolk District Attorney’s office noted in court Scott Leader’s “history of animosity towards others”, citing his two prior convictions for hate crimes. One was an assault just after Sept. 11, 2001, on a Moroccan man working at a store, the other was in 2005, on Carson Beach in South Boston, directed at an Asian American.
Steve Leader’s criminal past includes charges of assault and battery on a police officer, assault and battery, resisting arrest, making threats, and drug charges.
Rodriguez was in the courtroom during the sentencing but declined to speak with reporters. “I believe that they present a danger to other Hispanic people – documented or undocumented – who are in this country, minding their own business and working hard,” Rodriguez said in a victim impact statement dated April 21.
The attack occurred close to JFK/UMass MBTA station in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood. The two brothers were returning home from a Red Sox game when saw Rodriguez sleeping outside a subway station and started punching and kicking him, hitting him numerous times with a pole while calling him racial slurs. Rodriguez said in his statement that he still has lingering effects from that attack.
“This was an unprovoked, brutal attack on a sleeping man, motivated entirely by racial hostility,” Rimar said in court.
As the brothers high-fived each other after beating him, parts of the attack were witnessed by passersby and construction workers who were paving a road. When they were arrested, Steve Leader called one of the witnesses who went to police a “rat,” and claimed police were only arresting them “because we are white,” Rimar said.
When asked about the assault later that day during the news conference, Donald Trump seemed to defend the attackers. “I will say that people who are following me are very passionate,” he said. “They love this country and they want this country to be great again. They are passionate. I will say that, and everybody here has reported it.”
He would later walk back that statement after widespread condemnation. Ironically, the Leader Brothers are not registered voters.