An Orange County teen pleaded guilty Wednesday to tampering with physical evidence and conspiracy as a hate crime, for his part in anti-Semitic graffiti being spray-painted on walls at a Jewish cemetery, according to Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler.
The charges against the teen, Eric Carbonaro, 18, of Warwick, stem from an investigation into the spray-painting of swastikas and other anti-Semitic symbols at the Beth Shalom Cemetery in the Town of Warwick on Oct. 8 and 9, 2016, the DA's Office said.
The New York State Police, and the Town of Warwick Police Department, aided by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, had investigated the damage done to the cemetery when images of swastikas, the words “Heil Hitler” and Nazi “SS” symbols were found spray-painted on walls and headstones in the cemetery.
At the time he pled guilty, Carbonaro admitted that he took part in the crime and then worked with others to destroy evidence the crime by deleting images and other information pertaining to the desecration of the cemetery, which was contained on cellphones belonging to two other co-conspirators.
He also admitted to asking his co-conspirators to change their testimony relating to the investigation and that he committed the conspiracy in whole or substantial part due to his belief or perception regarding the ancestry and religion of people buried in the cemetery, the DA's office said.
“This is a case that has to be taken extremely seriously, to send a clear message that there is absolutely no room for the hateful desecration of religious property here in Orange County,” said Hoovler. “Given the seriousness of these crimes, we will be recommending a sentence that includes incarceration. It is our view that this was not simply a youthful indiscretion, but rather a premeditated hate crime. These anti-Semitic symbols and messages do not reflect the values of the overwhelming majority of Orange County and Warwick residents."
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Kerry Kolek, who also aided in the investigation.
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