Adam Gaffin Twitter photo.

Massachusetts man threatens to rape, kill, cut off body parts of interracial couple

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“BOSTON – A Massachusetts man pleaded guilty today to threatening an interracial couple via Facebook Messenger in January 2021, and with attempting to prevent the couple from reporting the threats and harassment to law enforcement.

Stephen M. DeBerardinis, 46, of Boston and Dedham, pleaded guilty to one count of transmitting in interstate commerce threats to injure a person; one count of tampering with a witness and victim by intimidation, threats, and corrupt persuasion; and one count of tampering with a witness and victim by harassment. U.S. District Court Judge Allison D. Burroughs scheduled sentencing for June 10, 2024. DeBerardinis was indicted by a federal grand jury in September 2021.

“This case demonstrates that you cannot cowardly hide behind a keyboard and spread bigotry, intimidation and fear. The spike we have all witnessed in hate-motivated threats of violence will not be tolerated, and our office remains steadfast in our commitment to aggressively pursue threats and acts of hate that are motivated by racism or bigotry,” said Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy. “Everyone deserves to live free from persecution and threats simply for who they are. Full stop.”


Stephen M. DeBerardinis LinkedIn photo.

“You can’t just threaten people online with racially motivated, violent physical harm and not face repercussions,” said Jodi Cohen, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division. “What Stephen DeBerardinis put this couple through is despicable. The FBI takes all threats to life seriously and so should anyone thinking about making one. We will investigate, identify you, and ensure you’re held accountable for your actions.”

“This is another example of the value of bringing together the collective resources and expertise of the Boston Police Department with our State and Federal partners to keep our residents safe,” said Boston Police Commissioner Michael Cox.

In late December 2020, the victims, a white woman and a Black man, announced their engagement on Facebook which included photographs of the couple. DeBerardinis, who did not know the couple personally, could view the photographs because he was a friend of one or more of the victims’ Facebook friends. On or about Jan. 6, 2021, DeBerardinis used Facebook Messenger to send the couple a series of threatening and harassing messages concerning the couple’s interracial relationship.

For example, DeBerardinis wrote, “EWWWWWWWW YOUR A N***** F***** F****** DIRTY A** WHITE TRASH,” and continued with similar messages. When the couple messaged DeBerardinis that they were reporting him to law enforcement, he sent them a message that said, “SNITCHES GET STITCHES” with a picture of brass knuckles. DeBerardinis also threatened, “Read up more on me lol… you will see how me and my crew burn n*****s alive,” and “And white whores like you well [sic]…. get rape and killed THAN [sic] we cut off body parts and mail them to your family lol.”

The victims reported the incident to local police, who contacted federal law enforcement.

The charge of transmitting in interstate commerce threats to injure a person provides for a sentence of up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release, a fine of up to $250,000 and restitution. The charge of tampering with a witness and victim by intimidation, threats and corrupt persuasion provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, a fine of up to $250,000, restitution and forfeiture.

The charge of tampering with a witness and victim by harassment provides for a sentence of up to three years in prison, one year of supervised release, a fine of up to $250,000, restitution and forfeiture. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Acting U.S. Attorney Levy; FBI SAC Cohen; and Commissioner Cox made the announcement today. The Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office provided valuable assistance. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Torey B. Cummings and Nadine Pellegrini of the Criminal Division are prosecuting the case.”Massachusetts Department of Justice.

About Michael Silvia

Served 20 years in the United States Air Force. Owner of New Bedford Guide.

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One comment

  1. Well he should have a great time in jail with those charges!!!

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