STATEMENT RELEASED BY ROBERT BERLIN
DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert B. Berlin announced today that a male Naperville Central High School student has been sentenced to two years of probation and one hundred hours of community service for placing a racist ad on Craigslist offering for sale an African American student at the same high school. On September 1, 2021, the juvenile entered a plea of guilty to two counts of Felony Hate Crime and one count of Misdemeanor Disorderly Conduct in front of Judge Anthony Coco, who handed down today’s sentence. Additionally, Judge Coco also ordered that the juvenile undergo individual and/or family counseling as deemed necessary by the Juvenile Probation Department and submit a DNA sample to the State’s DNA database.
On November 14, 2019, the juvenile took a photograph of the victim while at school. The juvenile then posted an ad on Craigslist with the photograph of the victim accompanied with the caption “Slave for sale (Naperville)” followed by an offensive racial slur. On November 18, 2019, the Naperville Police Department became aware of the incident and began an investigation which led to the juvenile as the person who posted the ad.
“Hate crimes have no place in a civilized society and will not be tolerated, regardless of the accused’s age,” Berlin said. “Studies show that the victims of hate crimes can suffer from depression, increased anxiety, low self-esteem and insecurity among other things. Everyone deserves the right to feel safe and welcome in our communities and my office will continue to charge and prosecute anyone, regardless of age, who engages in this type of behavior. It is my sincerest hope that with the help of our Juvenile Probation Department, the juvenile involved in this incident will mature into a productive member of society. I thank the Naperville Police Department as well as authorities at Naperville Central High School for their assistance in this case. I also thank Assistant State’s Attorney Lynn Cavallo for her work in holding this juvenile responsible for his actions.”