Judge Robert Dondero sentenced Eric Hunt to two years imprisonment, which, with time off for good behavior, is equivalent to time already served. This means Hunt will be released from custody immediately; Hunt has been incarcerated for 549 days. However, Judge Dondero also sentenced Hunt to four years probation, pay a $1,000 fine, stay 150 yards away from Elie Wiesel, and also directed him to seek mental health treatment upon his return to New Jersey. Hunt will live with a relative in New Jersey. While Dondero said Hunt's terrorizing of Wiesel was unacceptable behavior, he emphasized that his mental illness was the cause.
Judge Dondero also chastised the prosecution, saying that the case was "arguably overcharged" by prosecutors, who had initially charged Hunt with attempted kidnapping, false imprisonment, battery, stalking and two counts of elder abuse, all felonies in relation to the February 1st, 2007, confrontation between Hunt and Holocaust survivor and promoter Elie Wiesel at the Argent Hotel in San Francisco. Prosecutors claimed that it was a "hate-based" attempt to persuade Wiesel to renounce the Holocaust. Even after a jury found Hunt guilty last month of a hate crime, felony false imprisonment and two misdemeanors, prosecutor Alan Kennedy demanded that Dondero sentence Hunt to the maximum of three years, saying that Hunt showed hatred before he displayed mental problems.
Hunt also read a letter aloud in court addressed to Wiesel, repeatedly apologizing for what he did and explaining that he suffered a severe mental breakdown. "I had been sucked into anti-Semitic conspiracy theories on the Internet" that deny the Holocaust, he said. "I do not deny the Holocaust. I am not Nazi, racist, white supremacist or anti-Semite. I have tremendous remorse for scaring you". Bringing up a "racist rant" he wrote on an Internet site five days after accosting Wiesel, Hunt said, "I don't believe any of that garbage now that I'm taking my medication". Wiesel was not present in court.
Hunt's attorney, John Runfola, said his client was in a delusional state caused by bipolar disorder when he followed Wiesel across the country - an expedition financed by a $10,000 inheritance from his grandmother.
Public comments posted to the San Francisco Chronicle show a surprising and gratifying resentment towards Elie Wiesel for his unforgiving attitude and general weariness with the relentless Holocaust propaganda inundating our society. Here's a sampling:
dupay27 8/18/2008 7:28:51 PM
"...and during the incident, he was "intolerant, anti-Semitic and frankly, despising of Dr. Wiesel and everything he stands for." although offensive, again explain to me how this is a crime?
sfreactionary 8/18/2008 7:41:16 PM
Illegal immigrants, crackheads and bums are allowed to commit crimes with impunity here. But a disturbed white kid harassing a jew... if this kid hadn't been able to paint himself as part of another victim class (mentally ill), he would have gone down. Wiesel must be sore that the victimology he helped create now favors other groups more.
fridley 8/18/2008 8:21:18 PM
Making him get "Mental Health" treatment GUARANTEES we will be seeing this fine young man again; The Palestinian Holocaust IS REAL and happening now; how could anyone deny the PALESTINIAN HOLOCAUST?
fridley 8/18/2008 8:24:33 PM
The Palestinian Holocaust is the SINGLE MOST horrifying thing done to any group of human beings in the history of the world..
myview4u 8/18/2008 8:44:04 PM
Justice served. And in the interim young Mr. Hunt can concentrate on his counseling and hopefully reenter society as a productive, hate-free participant.
jevonprice 8/18/2008 9:15:50 PM
Bet you Elie is going to go nuts over such a light sentence. I mean in his mind, he was severely threatened and terrorized much worse than at the hands of the nazis. Glad the jury didn't buy his over-dramatic sob story. You over played your hand old man, now we know the true you - the cheap veneer that you've had on all these years have finally worn off to reveal the true Elie.
oaktownhomie 8/18/2008 9:25:19 PM
best part of this story was when elie said he was more scared being pulled out the elevator then when the nazis had him in a death camp. the laughter that ensued should have ended the trial right there.
lunchbox 8/18/2008 9:56:45 PM
I'm sad to say that I lost a lot of respect for Wiesel as a result of this trial. Although obviously the young man's behavior can't be condoned, he is a person in need of help. He's clearly mentally unwell. Moreover, he is contrite and apologized. Wiesel should have shown mercy; that would have been the big thing to do. Instead, he chose to proceed with the trumped up trial---and to what purpose? He just looks petty, which is hardly a fitting end to Wiesel's life and story. What a shame.
jevonprice 8/18/2008 9:57:34 PM
That's where I think a lot of people were misled and it showed when he has the upper hand, the leverage, he used or rather abused his prestige and over-played his hand to over dramatized in an oscar worthy nomination in his role in how traumatized he was in attempting to put this troubled young kid away for a long long time. It shows what kind of person he is, what he is really made off and/or have become.
This is just the product of the first four pages of comments (40 total). There are a total of 10 pages of comments - 102 comments total. This is an impressive number of people who are jew-wise, even if they might be progressives who are not race-wise. Holocaust fatigue has set in over the Bay Area.