A Huber Height, Ohio, man was sentenced on July 9 to 30 months in prison for the beating of another man he thought was Jewish.
Izmir Koch, 34, of Huber Heights, Ohio, was convicted of the beating outside the Mirage Restaurant in Harper’s Point, Symmes Township, Ohio , on Dec. Feb. 4, 2017.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s office, Koch and several others were heard yelling “I want to kill all of the Jews” and “I want to stab the Jews.” The victim said he was Jewish and then Koch began began punching and kicking him. A number of other people joined in the assault.
The victim was left with a broken facial bone and bruised ribs. The victim was not in fact Jewish, but was with friends and family members who were.
Koch was convicted after a trial on Dec. 17, 2018, of one count of violating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., Hate Crimes Prevention Act and one count of making a false statement to the FBI.
After the incident, Koch, accompanied by his attorney, spoke voluntarily with the FBI. Koch falsely told the FBI that he was not involved in the assault and that he made no derogatory comments about Jews.
“Individuals should be able to live without fear of attack or intimidation based on their religious beliefs,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the Civil Rights Division. “Prosecuting hate crimes is a top priority for the Department of Justice and as this sentence today demonstrates, we will not back down from obtaining justice for victims of violence based on hate.”