Practice Note: Representing Crime Victims
Representing people accused of crime is our practice focus, but we also represent crime victims periodically in special cases. Craig got involved in the case below when local Latino community leaders asked for assistance when a Peruvian-American person had acid thrown in his face on MKE's south side in 2019 by a man who yelled at him: why did you invade my country? and why don't you obey our laws?, among other hateful and bigoted insults. Today, a jury convicted that man of Felony Reckless Injury with a hate crime enhancer. You can read more about the case in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, including the story about the verdict here.
Below is the statement released on our client's behalf - we were privileged to represent Mahud and the Latino community's interests.
Statement on Behalf of Mahud Villalaz - For Immediate Release - State v. Clifton Blackwell, Milwaukee County 19 CF 004921
"Picking people out and attacking them because of the color of their skin or where we think they’re from is a hate crime that has no place in our country; twelve members of our community sent that message today. Mahud Villalaz thanks the jury and the police and prosecutors that worked to secure Mr. Blackwell’s conviction, and he appreciates the support of the larger community through what has been a terrible experience. Mr. Villalaz’s facial burns have healed from the acid thrown in his face; he still carries with him the bigoted hatred of that act, but also the support and empathy of his fellow American citizens. As Mr. Blackwell suggested, Mahud Villalaz is going back to his country today – the United States – knowing justice has been served."