By John Lee • Gannett Wisconsin Media • April 27, 2009


APPLETON — A self-professed white supremacist from Green Bay will serve a month in jail and two years of probation for the unprovoked attack on a black man in a Little Chute bar.

The sentence imposed last week on Michael J. Verhaagh, 33, by Outagamie County Judge Michael Gage added six months probation and 72 hours of community service to the agreement that had been worked out between Verhaagh’s attorney and the district attorney’s office.
Gage also ignored Verhaagh’s request to forego the jail sentence — he had spent 46 days in jail on the charge before getting bail money — because he is on an electronic bracelet as part of a jail sentence he is serving in Brown County on an unrelated charge.
Gage also ordered that the jail term begin immediately after the Brown County sentence ends May 31, and ordered that probation run consecutive to any other probation or parole terms he has.
Gage also ordered $1,200 restitution for the victim’s eye injury, and ordered him to write a letter of apology to the victim.
Verhaagh entered no-contest pleas to battery as a hate crime and disorderly conduct, and repeat offender charges were dismissed.
The criminal complaint said Verhaagh told other customers in the Pine Street Bar that he did not like people of other races, and displayed tattoos of a swastika and a likeness of Adolf Hitler.
Witnesses said he walked up unprovoked to the victim, punched him in the face and knocked him down.
“He strongly believes what he believes and that is not going to change in five minutes or five months or five years,” said Curtis Borsheim, an assistant district attorney.
Erica Bauer, Verhaagh’s attorney, said Verhaagh is apologetic for what happened and is embarrassed by his tattoos. She said he got them when he “got caught up with racists in his younger years.”
Gage told Verhaagh he was fortunate the victim’s injury was not more serious.
“I think the nature of the offense itself requires a consequence,” the judge said.
— John Lee writes for The Post-Crescent of Appleton.
“One month in jail.”
He attacks, without provocation, an unarmed Black man, injuring that man’s eye, causing medical bills, and lost of time and wages from the job for that Black man.
And for punishment, he only receives one month in jail and two years probation.
Were it not for plea-bargaining down (“entered no-contest pleas”), Verhaagh probably would have received a stiffer sentence.
Then again, that sentence probably would have been six months, or less, in jail.
Wonder what the sentence would have been if it were a Black woman who atacked a White man without provocation?

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