Racist webmaster gets 6 months for hate propaganda
Last Updated: Tuesday, January 23, 2007 | 6:43 PM ET
A notorious Montreal-based white supremacist whose body is covered in racist tattoos was sentenced Tuesday to six months in jail for willfully promoting hatred on a website he created.
Jean-Sébastien Presseault built and managed a website that featured racist and anti-Semitic music, documents, literature and cartoons available for download, including songs with titles such as "Skin is Black, You Make Me Sick."
Before he was arrested in 2003, Presseault's U.S.-based website received hundreds of thousands of hits, and material was downloaded from it more than 300,000 times, according to Montreal police.
Presseault has been in custody since June 2006, when he pleaded guilty to willfully promoting hatred, after he was picked up by police for uttering threats against the judge hearing his case.
On Tuesday, Quebec judge Martin Vauclair concluded Presseault, now 30, is a racist and violent man, and rejected the defence's request for a more lenient sentence to be served in the community.
Crown prosecutors sought a one-year sentence with three years' probation, but are satisfied with the six-month prison term.
"This is a sentence that sends a message, that, as judge Vauclair says in his judgment, will denounce and dissuade people to commit these crimes," said Thierry Nadon, a Montreal lawyer who prosecuted the case.
But anti-racist advocates were disappointed.
"If you know six months will maybe get you out in 30 days, it's maybe not a very high price to pay, so maybe you take that chance," said Moise Moghrabi, a spokesman with B'nai B'rith.
Presseault's lawyer had wanted him to serve his time outside of prison, arguing his client is a family man, with a wife and young daughter.
Presseault is the second person in Canada to be convicted and sentenced under article 319 of the Criminal Code, which deals with online hate propaganda.
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