The Orange County District Attorney’s office charged Grace Ziesmer today with vandalism and graffiti–but not a hate crime–for plastering Nazi propaganda posters at Fullerton College and Newport Harbor High School in March. The Newport Beach campus proved the more infamous of the two incidents, coming a week after students attended a house party and gave a Nazi salute over red cups arranged in the shape of a swastika.
Eva Schloss, Anne Frank’s stepsister and Holocaust survivor, visited the high school to speak privately with students following the outrage provoked by social media postings of the “swig heil” beer pong stunt.
A day after the swastika party controversy exploded, Ziesmer is accused of paying Fullerton College a visit with Nazi posters in hand. On March 4, she allegedly affixed them to light poles near the campus. Posters on both campuses included swastikas and pro-Nazi messaging.
“Hate does not belong here,” DA Todd Spitzer said in a press release. “It doesn’t belong anywhere. The Orange County District Attorney’s Office is prosecuting hate crimes and hate incidents to the fullest extent of the law. I am not going to tolerate hate in Orange County.”
Although the OCDA calls the 22-year-old woman’s alleged actions a “hate incident,” it cited a lack of sufficient evidence to bring hate crime charges against her. Prosecutors couldn’t tie the criminal charges to a Jewish victim in particular or establish that she targeted either school because of any given Jewish connections.
“ADL is grateful for the DA Todd Spitzer and his office for taking hate crimes and this hate incident so seriously,” says Rabbi Peter Levi, the Anti-Defamation League’s regional director for OC and Long Beach. “His clear statement that this kind of graffiti would not be tolerated in the community is most welcome.”
Meanwhile, a Pintrest page by Ziesmer is rife with historical images of the Third Reich. A glance at her Facebook page also reveals connections to people with neo-Nazi imagery on their profiles.
If convicted of one misdemeanor count of vandalism and two counts of misdemeanor graffiti, Ziesmer faces a maximum penalty of a year and six months in jail.
Updated with quote from ADL regional director.
Gabriel San Román is from Anacrime. He’s a journalist, subversive historian and the tallest Mexican in OC. He also once stood falsely accused of writing articles on Turkish politics in exchange for free food from DönerG’s!