A federal jury delivered a guilty verdict Monday to a prominent white supremacist from Keene accused of making online threats against another neo-Nazi.
Jurors found Christopher Cantwell guilty of criminal threatening and extortion after he threatened to rape the wife of a man who he believed had been harassing him online.
Cantwell gained notoriety for his role in the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville where neo-Nazis carried torches through the streets. A counter-protester was killed during the confrontation.
After a four-day trial in federal court in Concord, jurors found Cantwell guilty on two charges, but not guilty on related cyberstalking charges.
Cantwell was taken into custody. He will be sentenced in January.
“Safeguarding the civil liberties every American is entitled to, regardless of their beliefs, is fundamental to the FBI’s mission. But when freedom of speech is weaponized, and threats are made, a line must be drawn where individuals like Christopher Cantwell will not be allowed to cross,” said Joseph Bonavolonta, special agent with the FBI Boston Division, who helped investigate the case.
According to prosecutors, Cantwell threatened to rape the wife of the victim if he didn’t turn over information about the organizer of an online group known as ‘Bowl Patrol.’ Members of Bowl Patrol, according to media reports, support violence against racial and religious minority groups.
Cantwell released private information about the victim, including his address, in an online forum. Cantwell also filed a report with child protective services regarding the victim.
In 2017, footage and interviews of Cantwell appeared in a Vice documentary about the Unite the Right rally. Cantwell sobbed on camera when learning he was the subject of an arrest warrant for violent confrontations during the rally, earning him the nickname the ‘Crying Nazi.’