The Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office will not retry two of three former San Jose State University students on a hate crime charge involving their black roommate in 2013.
Logan Beaschler, 20, of Bakersfield, Joseph "Brett" Bomgardner, 21, of Clovis, and Colin Wyatt Warren, 20, of Woodacre, were convicted last month of misdemeanor battery on their black roommate, Donald "DJ" Williams Jr. at their dormitory suite between August and October 2013.
Prosecutors are asking all three defendants be sentenced to 120 days in county jail, two years’ probation and 50 hours of community service, according to a memorandum filed today in Santa Clara County Superior Court.
Bomgardner was not found guilty of misdemeanor commission of a hate crime, but a mistrial was declared on the charge for the other two defendants.
Superior Court Judge Thang Nguyen Barrett will sentence the men for the battery charge on March 14, when they face up to six months in county jail and a $1,000 fine.
A fourth student charged in the case was a juvenile during the incidents, according to prosecutors.
The three men were living in an eight-person, on-campus suite where they forced a bike lock around Williams' neck on two occasions, barricaded him inside a bathroom and bedroom and posted a Confederate flag on a shared wall, prosecutors said.
Within a week of Williams moving into the suite, the defendants called Williams nicknames such as "fraction" and "three-fifths," according to prosecutors.
"Three-fifths" was a reference to a practice in the 18th and 19th centuries when slaves were counted as three-fifths of a person in the U.S. Census.
The men also wrote racial epithets and mocked Martin Luther King Jr. in an apology letter to Williams, who was then 17 years old, according to prosecutors.
The defendants hung a Confederate flag and posted pictures of Adolf Hitler and Nazi symbols in the dorm, prosecutors said.
The three students have been expelled from attending any University of California and California State University college.
The harassment led Williams to return home every weekend and lock his door at the dorm out of fear for his safety, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors are requesting the defendants be ordered to carry out their community service with an organization that serves the African-American community, have no contact with Williams and pay restitution.
The defendants would also need to take a class on racial or ethnic sensitivity, African-American history or culture, according to prosecutors.
"We support D.J. Williams as he completes his education and continues his fight against bigotry," District Attorney Jeff Rosen said in a statement today.
"We hope that the judge will consider all of the evidence in this case and send a forceful message to the defendants, to this young and resilient victim, and to the rest of Santa Clara County: prejudice is not a prank," Rosen said.