Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the guilty plea of DELMON YOUNG, 27, to Aggravated Harassment in the Second Degree, for approaching four men outside the Hilton New York hotel at 1335 Avenue of the Americas at approximately 2:30 a.m. on April 27, 2012, and shouting an anti-Semitic slur before tackling one of the individuals to the ground. The defendant has been ordered to complete 10 days of community service and participate in a mandatory restorative justice program at the Museum of Tolerance New York. If the defendant complies with those conditions, he will be permitted to withdraw his plea and instead plead guilty to Harassment in the Second Degree, a violation, on May 7, 2013.

“Dispositions for defendants charged with bias-related crimes need to be thoughtful and tailored toward healing both the defendant and the entire targeted community,” said District Attorney Vance. “That’s why the restorative justice program that my Office’s Hate Crimes Unit developed with the Museum of Tolerance is so important – defendants learn how their words and actions can have implications far beyond a single incident, and are taught about sensitivity and compassion. I am very proud of this one-of-a-kind program and what it’s been able to achieve so far.”

Museum of Tolerance New York’s Manager of Education and Outreach Programs Natasha Poor said: “The Museum of Tolerance New York is honored to partner with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office on the Restorative Justice Program. We offer a unique experience for offenders to understand the impact of their offense in a broader context and to learn from the tragedies of the past that stemmed from hate and prejudice.”

Since 2011, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office has had three eligible defendants who had been charged with hate crimes successfully complete the restorative justice program at the Museum of Tolerance New York, a Simon Wiesenthal Center Museum. Each session at the Museum on East 42nd Street in Manhattan included a tour of the Museum’s exhibits, interactive workshops, videos, guided discussions, and special instruction by Museum educators to explore issues of prejudice, diversity, and tolerance, which were tailored to each defendant. The Museum reports back to the District Attorney’s Office about the defendant’s participation.

In May 2010, District Attorney Vance formed the Manhattan District Attorney’s Hate Crimes Unit, to strengthen the Office’s investigation and prosecution of hate and bias crimes. The Unit collaborates with the New York City Police Department and community organizations to develop strategies that seek to prevent bias-motivated crimes, whether based on race, ethnicity, gender, religion, or sexual orientation. The Assistants District Attorneys assigned to the Hates Crimes Unit have been specifically trained to investigate and prosecute these types of crimes with the assistance of experienced investigators.

Assistant District Attorney Andrew Mercer handled the prosecution of this case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi-Orbon, Chief of the Hate Crimes Unit, and Karen Friedman Agnifilo, Chief of the Trial Division.

Defendant information:

DELMON YOUNG, D.O.B. 9/14/1985
Camarillo, CA

• Aggravated Harassment in the Second Degree, a class A misdemeanor, one count

• 10 days of community service
• Mandatory restorative justice program at the Museum of Tolerance, New York