Man enters plea in racially motivated case
A Grass Valley man arrested in 2019 for a battery that prosecutors say was racially motivated has been sentenced to four years in a state prison.
Kristopher Lee Breschi, 37, pleaded guilty earlier this month to a charge of assault likely to produce great bodily injury. His sentencing is set for June 4, authorities said.
Breschi was arrested in September 2019 on accusations that he assaulted a 22-year-old man at a gas station on Pleasant Valley Road. According to police, Breschi threw numerous punches, inflicting substantial injuries on the victim, who suffered a concussion from the assault.
Breschi also allegedly yelled racial epithets as he attacked the victim, who is Hispanic, prosecutors said.
“We believe that this attack was racially motivated because in the initial police report, in the statements, there were words exchanged and the defendant used words that mentioned the victim’s race as being Mexican,” said Assistant District Attorney Chris Walsh.
The District Attorney’s Office ultimately elected not to pursue hate crime charges, however, as there was not incontrovertible evidence as to what exact language was used during the attack, Walsh added.
Breschi’s defense attorney, Samuel Berns, declined to comment on his client’s plea deal, stating that the defense would have no comment before sentencing.
The assault had taken place after what police described as an ongoing feud between the two men, who both worked for tree trimming companies and apparently knew each other prior to the incident.
While his official sentencing is on June 4, Breschi’s defense attorney has already reached a plea deal for a four-year prison term, according to Walsh.
Nevada County Superior Court Judge Robert Tice-Raskin, who will preside over the sentencing, will also consider a restitution claim from the victim during the proceedings, Walsh said. The victim’s claim asks the judge to order Breschi to pay $15,000 in compensation for the injuries the victim suffered as a result of the attack.
While Breschi was not convicted of a hate crime, the case nonetheless underscores the importance that the District Attorney’s Office places on prosecuting racially motivated offenses, Walsh said.
“We take these types of cases very seriously, and with the utmost priority, that is, any kind of case that has racial undertones or racist motivations, we’re going to prosecute it very aggressively, especially in a smaller community like this,” he said.
Stephen Wyer is a staff writer with The Union. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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