State prosecutors filed an additional hate-crime charge against an Oregon State University student accused of affixing offensive stickers to the cars of members of a racial justice group last year.
Andrew Oswalt faces a third count of first-degree intimidation, court records show. The charge alleges Oswalt acted with one or more people to tamper or interfere with property by applying the stickers to the cars “with intent to cause substantial inconvenience to another because of the defendant’s perception of another’s religion,” according to the amended indictment filed in Benton County Circuit Court.
“Factually, it fits and is appropriate,” said Chief Deputy District Attorney Ryan Joslin.
Oswalt appeared Monday in court with his attorney, Nicolas Ortiz. The lawyer entered a not guilty plea to the new charge on his client’s behalf. Oswalt has previously pleaded not guilty to the other charges against him. He is out of jail on bail pending trial.
Circuit Judge David Connell set Oswalt’s trial for Nov. 28-30.
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The first intimidation charge against Oswalt accuses him of causing substantial inconvenience to another based on his perception of the person’s race, according to the indictment. The second charge accuses him of intimidation based on another’s color.
The intimidation charges are felonies, each punishable by up to five years in prison upon conviction.
Oswalt also faces two counts of third-degree criminal mischief, a misdemeanor.
Oswalt is accused of placing the stickers on cars belonging to members of a group called Showing Up for Racial Justice in a June 17 incident at the First Alternative Natural Foods Co-op in Corvallis. The stickers read “Racism is a horrible disease. You catch it from n-----s," police said.