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STATEWIDE — The presidents of many of Indiana’s private colleges and universities are urging state lawmakers to pass a hate crimes law in 2019.


In a letter released Monday, the presidents of 22 colleges say they want to see “strong hate crime legislation” and “call for a law which would authorize judges to enhance penalties against criminals who harmed others based on their disability, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or gender identity.”


Among those who have signed the letter include Rev. John Jenkins of the University of Notre Dame, Robert Manuel of the University of Indianapolis and Dr. Mark Heckler of Valparaiso University.


The letter also praised Gov. Eric Holcomb (R-IN) for his support of a hate crimes law in Indiana following the vandalism of a synagogue in Carmel.


Last week, Nolan Brewer, 20, from Cloverdale and a 17-year-old girl were accused of spray painting nazi symbols at Congregation Shaarey Tefilla.  Brewer is facing a federal charge of conspiracy to violate civil rights, while the girl is facing charges in Hamilton County of arson and criminal mischief. 


Indiana is one of five states in the U.S. which does not have hate crimes legislation.




Photo: RTV6