SJSU student pleads not guilty to hate crimes

One of four SJSU students charged with hate crimes against a black student pleaded not guilty Monday morning.
January 6, 2014 12:37:58 PM PST
One of four San Jose State University students charged with hate crimes against a black student pleaded not guilty Monday morning to two misdemeanor charges, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office.

Logan Beaschler, 18, of Bakersfield, appeared for his arraignment hearing in Superior Court in San Jose and pleaded not guilty to charges of misdemeanor battery and misdemeanor hate crime, Deputy District Attorney Erin West said.

Beaschler's attorney Chuck Mesirow asked that his client be released on his own recognizance instead of being held on $15,000 bail, but Judge Ronald Lisk denied the request, West said.

Beaschler's next court appearance is scheduled for March 4.

He and three other white SJSU students -- Joseph Bomgardner, of Clovis, 19, Colin Warren, 18, of Woodacre, and a male juvenile who is not being identified because of his age -- have each been charged with the two misdemeanors for incidents that occurred in a student residence hall on the campus between mid-August and mid-October.

Prosecutors allege that the freshman students wrote a racial slur on a board, called the then-17-year-old victim "three fifths" and "fraction," put up a Confederate flag and pictures of Adolf Hitler and Nazi symbols in their eight-person housing suite, and at one point barricaded him in a room.

The assault charges were filed based on the black student's allegation that his roommates injured him when they locked a U-shaped bicycle lock around his neck, prosecutors said.

All four white students have been suspended, according to West.