Thursday, 4:30 PM
Accused skinhead avoids prison time, but must visit museums
By Maria Cramer, Globe Staff, and Andrew Ryan, Globe Correspondent
A judge spared a white man from a prominent family from a prison term today when he sentenced him for beating two black teenagers in what prosecutors called a racially motivated attack.
Instead, Suffolk Superior Court Judge Charles Spurlock gave Josiah Spaulding III to five years probation and 200 hours of community service at the Pine Street Inn or another homeless shelter. Spaulding, according to his sentence, will also have to visit the African Meeting House on Beacon Hill, make a trip to the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., and remove his tattoos with Nazi symbolism.
Prosecutors had asked that Spaulding, who they described as a "skinhead," be sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison in addition to five years of probation for what they called a “vicious attack.” He faced a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison with a minimum sentence of probation, according to the Suffolk district attorney's office.
"Judge Spurlock's sentence is one that addresses the very nature of the underlying offense,” said Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley in a written statement. “Obviously we felt that committed time would also have been appropriate, but this lengthy probationary term, with these strict and very appropriate conditions, is a wise and thoughtful sentence.”
In July, the judge issued a split verdict in a bench trial on charges that Spaulding beat two 17-year-old black girls with a metal baton in a subway station on Nov. 22, 2002. According to prosecutors, he was with a group who shouted racial slurs at the teens on the concourse of the Park Street MBTA station. Spurlock found Spaulding guilty of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, but exonerated him of civil or constitutional rights violations.
The two victims appeared at the sentencing this morning. Maureen Pontes stood next to Stephanie Gemma as she told the court how they were both traumatized by the beatings.
Spaulding addressed the court in a low voice, telling the victims: “I’m very sorry.”
Spurlock also ordered Spaulding to pay full restitution to his victims for any expenses incurred as a result of the attack and continue with mental health treatment.
His father, Josiah Spaulding Jr., is president of the Wang Center, a performing arts center in Boston
Spaulding fled after the station after the attack and went to Amsterdam. In 2003, he returned to the United States and was initially held on $500,000 cash bail. Later Spaulding was released on personal recognizance and has remained free.