WEST CHESTER, Pa. (WPVI) -- A Pennsylvania man convicted of spray-painting graffiti including swastikas and racial epithets in several places near Philadelphia has been sentenced to seven to 14 years in prison.
The term imposed Wednesday on 25-year-old George Rissell exceeded the five-to-11-year term recommended by prosecutors on ethnic intimidation and criminal mischief convictions.
Authorities said Rissell committed the vandalism in August in Coatesville and a neighboring township.
Judge Patrick Carmody told him that "being drunk" ''doesn't excuse being racist." He said the defendant was trying to scare people and incite violence.
Rissell apologized, insisting that he is not a racist but only espoused those beliefs after indoctrination by white supremacists during past prison sentences. He said "I absolutely hate this crime I've committed. It's the dumbest thing I've ever done."
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