Abortion Advocate Charged With Hate Crime for Racial Slurs Against Pro-Lifers
by Steven Ertelt
April 3, 2009
This LifeNews.com news story contains language some readers may find offensive.
Rockford, IL (LifeNews.com) — A pro-life law firm has filed a hate crime charge in a civil complaint with a court over an abortion advocate who engaged in hateful racial slurs against two pro-life people outside an Illinois abortion center. The Thomas More Society filed the charge in an Amended Federal Civil Complaint today.
The legal complaint alleges Rockford resident Keith A. Sterkeson verbally attacked Eric Nelson and Kevin Rilott.
On several occasions in a recorded video, Sterkeson engaged in racial slurs, using the n-word repeatedly in comments attacking Nelson.
The video also shows Sterkeson hitting Nelson and shoving Rillot, calling them "faggots."
Tom Brejcha, the president and lead counsel with the Thomas More Society, talked with LifeNews.com about the incident.
"Here, defendant Sterkeson, with support from clinic proprietor Wayne Webster, was spewing forth hateful rhetoric," he said. "[He was] accusing Nelson of being a ‘half breed’ whose mother was African-American — on the public sidewalk in a loud and raucous voice."
"Sterkeson’s uttering such hateful speech against racial minorities, while he was perpetrating violent crimes is precisely what Illinois has condemned as ‘hate crime’," he explained.
Brejcha told LifeNews.com Sterkeson regularly engages in this kind of behavior.
"Keith Sterkeson regularly harangues Nelson, Rillot and their peers with racist epithets, anti-religious bigotry and homophobic slurs on the public sidewalk outside the Rockford abortion clinic owned by Wayne Webster," he explained.
The amended Federal Civil Complaint alleges that Webster monitors police radio calls and warns Sterkeson to leave the scene when Nelson and Rillot call the police, aiding and abetting Sterkeson.
According to the Illinois Hate Crime statute, someone commits a hate crime when they commit assault or battery for motivated by race, religion, ancestry, gender, and sexual orientation.
A Hate Crime is a class 4 Felony for a first offense and up to a class 2 Felony for subsequent offense. The victim of the attack is entitled a civil action for damages, injunction and related relief. The Illinois State Court can award actual damages for both emotional distress and punitive damages.
The video shows the verbal assault with Sterkeson calling Nelson: "A Nigger, a Nigger. You are a worthless degenerate Nigger. Oh, you are a Nigger! You are a degenerate and empty skull, thinking Jesus is going to save you. You’re a Nigger. Your mother was a Nigger."
Brejcha concludes: "This is explosive stuff but we mustn’t cover it up or look the other way. Instead, the best disinfectant is sunlight. Now that this egregious bias has come so glaringly to light, it must be condemned, punished, and suppressed."
Related web sites:
Thomas More Society – https://www.thomasmoresociety.org
Video – https://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=686085437289434770
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