Cincinnati man pleads guilty to hate crime assault of Asian American student

Cincinnati man pleads guilty to hate crime assault of Asian American studentCincinnati man pleads guilty to hate crime assault of Asian American student
via Jessica Tan / Unsplash
Michelle De Pacina
February 28, 2024
A man charged with a federal hate crime in connection with an attack against an Asian American student at the University of Cincinnati (UC) in 2021 has pleaded guilty.
Catch up: Darrin Johnson, 27, of Avondale, is accused of punching a male Asian American student in an unprovoked attack on Calhoun Street at the UC campus on Aug. 17, 2021. This led to the victim falling and hitting his head on the bumper of a parked car, leading to a minor concussion and facial lacerations, among other injuries.
Prior to physically assaulting the student, Johnson allegedly threatened the victim’s life in an anti-Asian tirade.
“Go back to your country,” Johnson said, as per court documents. “You brought the kung flu here. … You’re going to die for bringing it.”
Johnson reportedly continued to attack the student until two bystanders restrained him. Police arrested him shortly after.
Darrin Johnson via Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office
Arrest and charges: In October 2021, Johnson ​pleaded guilty to charges of misdemeanor assault and criminal intimidation. He was sentenced to 360 days in county jail before being indicted by a federal grand jury in November 2022.
On Wednesday, Johnson pleaded guilty to committing a federal hate crime. In a news release, U.S. Attorney Kenneth L. Parker vowed to continue prosecuting similar crimes.
“I remain steadfast in the belief that hate has no place in our society. We will continue to use our federal law enforcement authority to investigate and prosecute hate crimes like the one committed by Johnson,” Parker said.
What’s next: Prosecutors and defense attorneys have negotiated a 22-month prison sentence for Johnson. He will return to court on May 16 for his sentencing.
 
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