A Chula Vista man pleaded not guilty Dec. 27 to committing a felony hate crime when he allegedly slugged his neighbor while yelling anti-Gay slurs.
Robert Frank Wilson, 40, is also charged with helping others hang a large anti-Semitic poster on the fence of an Interstate 805 overpass.
Chula Vista Superior Court Judge Rod Shelton ordered Wilson to remain free on $50,000 bond on the condition he have no contact with the victims.
A Jan. 19 a preliminary hearing was set.
The prosecutor said Wilson blocked his neighbor’s driveway in a Nov. 10 incident and got out of his vehicle while yelling anti-Gay comments to him. Wilson is accused of punching his neighbor in the face.
On Dec. 18, Wilson was cited by San Diego Police for working with a group of people to hang a large poster that used the words “Jewish supremacy” and the word “censor.”
“This case and these events demonstrate that those who are motivated by prejudice often spread their hate around to various groups, attacking our neighbors on the basis of race, religion, sexual orientation, or other grounds,” said District Attorney Summer Stephan.
“Hate against one group is a threat to everyone and we won’t tolerate these crimes in our community,” said Stephan, adding that filing hate crime cases is a priority in her office.
“Anyone considering committing a hate crime should think again as they will be investigated, prosecuted and held accountable under the law,” said Stephan.
The sign charge is a misdemeanor. Stephan said if Wilson is convicted of both crimes, the maximum sentence is three years and six months in prison.
Stephen said her office has filed 30 hate crime cases in 2021 and 20 in 2020.
KFMB-TV (Channel 8) reporter David Gotfredson had an odd interview with Wilson in the courthouse parking lot that started with Wilson interviewing him on a cell phone camera.
Wilson denied doing anything illegal. When Gotfredson asked him if he yelled “homophobic language” to his neighbor, Wilson replied, “There’s no such thing as homophobia.”