Vermont man gets federal hate crime sentence for threatening to set fire to Latino neighbors

A Vermont man was sentenced for a federal hate crime after he threatened to set fire to his Latino neighbors, according to the Justice Department.

Stuart Kurt Rollins, 59, of Barre City, received three years of supervised released and time served after reaching a plea agreement with prosecutors, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Vermont said on Tuesday.

According to prosecutors, Rollins threatened to set fire to his Latino neighbors' house while they were inside in July 2019 and threatened to set a member of the family on fire at a different time in a harassment and intimidation campaign designed to do “whatever it takes to get you off this street.”

In another incident, he destroyed the family’s mailbox, smashed glass bottles on their lawn, exposed his genitals and buttocks and yelled “go back to Mexico.”

Rollins was detained in November 2019 and remained in custody but is expected to be released shortly.

“The defendant’s threats here made a Vermont family feel unsafe in their own home, just because of their race and national origin,” U.S. Attorney for the District of Vermont Christina E. Nolan said. “As this case shows, Vermont is unfortunately not immune to hate-motivated acts.”

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