The Coordination Forum for Countering Antisemitism

Ohio man sentenced to 30 months in prison for antisemitic hate crime

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Izmir Koch

A man from the Dayton area was sentenced Tuesday to 30 months in federal prison for beating man he believed to be Jewish outside of a Cincinnati restaurant in Feb., 2017, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Izmir Koch, 34, was convicted after a trial on Dec. 2018 of one count of violating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., Hate Crimes Prevention Act and one count of lying to the FBI.

Koch and his friends were heard yelling “I want to kill all of the Jews” and “I want to stab the Jews.”

According to the Department of Justice, a man represented to Koch that he was Jewish, after which Koch began punching and kicking him. A number of people joined in the assault, the department said.

The victim was left with a broken facial bone and bruised ribs. Although he was not Jewish, he was with friends and family members who were.

After the incident, Koch, accompanied by his attorney, spoke voluntarily with the FBI. Koch falsely told the FBI that he was not involved in the assault and that he made no derogatory comments about Jews, according to the Department of Justice.

“Hate-fueled violent crimes ripple through communities, making entire groups feel unsafe and unwelcome, spawning fear and anger,” U.S. Attorney Glassman said. “That is why investigating and prosecuting hate crimes is such a high priority. Every community – every person – is entitled to the equal protection of the laws.”

This case was investigated by the Cincinnati Division of the FBI. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Megan Gaffney of the Southern District of Ohio and Trial Attorney Dana Mulhauser of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice.

“The FBI aggressively investigates hate crime incidents and works closely with impacted communities,” stated FBI Cincinnati Special Agent in Charge Todd A. Wickerham. “Each day we strive to protect civil rights and hold accountable those who violate the rights of others.”