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California

Woman admits posting Nazi propaganda at two O.C. campuses

Nazi propaganda posters were found at Newport Harbor High School on March 11, 2019.
Nazi propaganda posters were found at Newport Harbor High School on March 11, 2019, a little over a week after students from Newport Harbor and other local high schools attended an off-campus party where some were photographed giving Nazi salutes around a swastika made of drinking cups.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

A 23-year-old woman accused of posting Nazi propaganda posters at two campuses in Orange County last year was sentenced Wednesday to a year of informal probation and 40 hours of community service.

As part of a plea deal offered by the court, Grace Elisabeth Ziesmer of Fullerton was ordered to pay roughly $517 in restitution after she agreed to plead guilty to a count of misdemeanor vandalism and two misdemeanor counts of graffiti, according to the Orange County district attorney’s office.

Ziesmer was charged last year after authorities said she posted anti-Semitic fliers with Nazi symbols on light poles near Fullerton College and on Newport Harbor High School’s campus in Newport Beach.

School officials at Newport Harbor called police in March after they found 10 fliers, each 8 by 11 inches — some bearing swastikas — plastered around the campus. The incident occurred roughly a week after a viral photo showed students giving Nazi salutes while gathered around a swastika formed by red cups during a house party.

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Prosecutors declined to charge Ziesmer with a hate crimes enhancement because they said there was a lack of sufficient evidence that her postings were directed at a particular victim for being Jewish. The district attorney’s office called the situation a “hate incident” in a news release.

“It could not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant’s conduct was directed at the schools because of their connection with the Jewish people or the Jewish religion, based on evidence and interviews conducted in the case,” the district attorney’s office wrote in a prepared statement.


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