The Palm Beach County Human Rights Council (PBCHRC)
is Florida's oldest, independent, non-partisan, political organization dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.
We promote equality through education, advocacy, direct action, impact litigation, and community outreach. Over the years, PBCHRC has been responsible for the implementation of more than 160 laws and policies providing equal protections, rights, and benefits for the LGBTQ community.
A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE WITHIN THE STATE. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE. PBCHRC'S Registration Number is CH46486. To obtain registration information, you may consult the website or call 800-435-7352.
Palm Beach County Human Rights Council | P. O. Box 267, West Palm Beach, FL 33402
The PBCHRC Charitable Foundation and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation paid the City of Delray Beach $16,000 to cover the LGBTQ+ Pride Intersection, which was dedicated by the Mayor and City Commissioners during LGBTQ+ Pride Month last June.
Prior to yesterdat's hearing, PBCHRC and the PBCHRC Charitable Foundation filed a Victim Impact Statement asking Judge Suskauer to (1) convict Jerich of the felony and misdemeanor charges he faces, (2) incarcerate Jerich for no less than one year, (3) place on Jerich on probation for no less than five years, and (4) order Jerich to stay away from the Delray Beach Pride Intersection for the rest of his life.
At the hearing, Judge Suskauer made it clear that he was not inclined to sentence Jerich to a year in prison, since Jerich had no prior crimnal history.
PBCHRC President and Founder Rand Hoch, a retired judge, took the opportunity during his testimony to remind Judge Suskauer of the impact Jerich's actions had on the LGBTQ+ community.
"The LGBTQ+ community is outraged we were victimized by the defendant – especially in such a public manner during Pride Month," said Hoch. "Our community has been both demeaned and intimidated by the defendant’s actions."
"Unless our justice system take significant steps to punish those who brazenly and intentionally commit crimes of bias against the LGBTQ+ community, hatemongers will continue to terrorize our community." Hoch added.
In response to a question from Judge Suskauer about whether PBCHRC believes a sentences in a criminal case should act as a deterrent, Hoch responded "yes", referencing the recent and steady increase in hate crimes in Florida.
"Since last December alone, at least seventeen criminal acts of hate have been reported to law enforcement here in Florida, said Hoch. "These include crimes against the LGBTQ+ community, the Jewish community, and the Black community."
At the conclusion of the hearing, Judge Suskauer directed Jerich to write a 25-page report on each of the 49 victims of the 2016 Pulse nightclub massacre and the effect it had on the loved ones they left behind.
The main items Judge Suskauer wants to consider more in depth before the final sentencing hearing is whther Jerich should be sentenced to thirty days in county jail, placed under house arrest in his parents four-bedroom home in a gated community, or receive no time under supervision.
Judge Suskauer is also considering the length of time Jerich should be placed on probation.
WPEC CBS 12 News sent a camera crew to the hearing. To listen to significant portions of yesterday's hearing, click here.
Alexander Jerich, the anti-gay activist who defaced the Delray Beach LGBTQ+Pride Intersection, is set to be sentenced by Circuit Court Judge Scott Suskauer on April 21, 2022 at 1:30. p.m.
Judge Scott Suskauer
During Pride Month last June, Jerich used his truck to create “burnouts”, which left a set of fifteen-foot black skidmarks across the Delray Beach LGBTQ+ Pride Intersection.
Jerich, who pleaded guilty to all felony and misdemeanor charges on March 1, faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. (He has already paid the City of Delray Beach $2,000 to repaint the intersection.)
"Minority communities throughout Florida are suffering from an unprecedented number of criminal acts of bigotry," said Palm Beach County Human Rights Council (PBCHRC) President and Founder Rand Hoch, a retired judge. "In the past six months alone, more than 15 heinous acts against minorities have been reported in Florida."
"While Jerich pleaded guilty to the 'criminal mischief' felony count, his crime constitutes much more than that charge suggests," said Hoch.
"Jerich was not just fooling around with his truck. He sought to make a very public statement against the LGBTQ community," said Hoch. "Jerich literally left marks of hate for all to see."
In the ten months since Jerich committed his attack on the LGBTQ+ Pride Intersection, there have been dozens of Delray Beach City Commission meetings and workshops open to the public. However, Jerich has never appeared to apologize to the elected officials and residents of the City of Delray Beach for his crimes.
Nor has Jerich made any apologies to the LGBTQ+ community.
"Alexander Jerich has shown no remorse from his crimes," said Hoch. "At sentencing, Judge Suskauer will have the opportunity to deter future incidents of hate in Florida when he determines the appropriate sentence."
In advance of the sentencing hearing, PBCHRC and the PBCHRC Charitable Foundation have filed a Victim Impact Statement to assist Judge Suskauer in determining an appropriate sentance for Jerich.
"Jerich’s sentence must send a message to others looking to target the LGBTQ+ people and other minorities. It is our hope that the sentence will serve to deter similar types of hate crimes," said Hoch. "The hate must stop."
PBCHRC and PBCHRC Charitable Foundation are asking Judge Suskauer to (1) convict Jerich of the felony and misdemeanor charges he faces, (2) incarcerate Jerich for no less than one year, (3) place on Jerich on probation for no less than five years, and (4) order Jerich to stay away from the Delray Beach Pride Intersection for the rest of his life.
If you are interested in seeing how the justice system works in this matter, the sentencing hearing will be held on April 21 at 1:30 p.m. in Courtroom 10B at the Main Courthouse, 205 N. Dixie Highway in West Palm Beach.
The Palm Beach County Human Rights Council, Inc. is dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. The Council promotes equality, through education, advocacy, direct action, impact litigation, and community outreach.