SALISBURY, Md. (WJZ) -- A 54-year-old Princess Anne man will plead guilty Friday in the case of multiple instances of racist graffiti being found at Salisbury University during the 2019-2020 school year, the Wicomico County State's Attorney's Office said Monday.
On June 3, officials charged Jerome Kevin Jackson with a single count of misdemeanor maliciously defacing property while exhibiting racial animosity, commonly referred to as a hate crime statute. He's accused of being responsible for the racist and sometimes gender-discriminatory graffiti that was found on campus on five separate occasions during the past school year.
One of the incidents, according to a video on social media from the university's chapter of the NAACP in November, included graffiti reading "Sandy Hook comes to SU," followed by a racial slur.
In February, the school canceled classes and held a town hall following another incident of racist graffiti being found in Henson Science Hall.
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The state's attorney's office said Jackson has elected to plead guilty as part of a plea agreement that requires him to spend 18 months behind bars and pay $494 in restitution to the university.
In a statement, university president Charles Wight thanked the campus community for its patience as law enforcement and the state's attorney's office investigated the case.
"Hate and discrimination have no place on this campus, and neither do ignorance or apathy as they relate to these issues," the statement read in part. "These incidents were targeted, but they affect us all. SU's campus culture is all of our responsibility, and throughout this difficult time, our students, faculty, staff, alumni and community supporters have made one thing very clear: SU unites and stands together."
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