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Neo-Nazi Gets 7 Years For Vandalizing Jewish Graves

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Westlawn Cemetery Vandalism

Several graves at Westlawn Cemetery were desecrated with swastikas and other anti-Semitic graffiti in January 2008. (Credit: CBS)

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SKOKIE (CBS) – An admitted neo-Nazi convicted of vandalizing nearly 70 Jewish graves with a swastikas and other anti-Semitic graffiti was sentenced Friday to seven years in prison.

A Cook County jury earlier this month found Mariusz Wdziekonski, 24, guilty of two felony charges in the January 2008 vandalism at Westlawn Cemetery in unincorporated Norridge Park Township.

“You’re a person who’s bigoted and espouses hate,” Cook County Judge Larry Axelrood told Wdziekonski as he sentenced the Norridge man. “You wanted to inflict your hatred, and you wanted to inflict pain.”

Wdziekonski denied during his trial that he vandalized the graves in January 2008. But several Cook County sheriff’s officers testified that he ultimately admitted during questioning that he had desecrated the headstones and grave markers. Wdziekonski admitted being a neo-Nazi.

Prosecutors said the seven-year prison term imposed on Wdziekonski, a Polish immigrant who has been in the United States since 2004, was appropriate. It was the maximum penalty.

“It’s exactly what he deserved,” said prosecutor Lauren Brown.

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