Leroy St. Germaine, the publisher of Your Ward News, was sentenced to 12 months of house arrest after being convicted in January of promoting hatred against Jews and women.
In sentencing St. Germaine, 77, Judge Richard Blouin rejected the prosecution’s request for a term of six months in prison, as the judge felt he poses no threat to the public.
James Sears, the editor-in-chief of Your Ward News and St. Germaine’s co-defendant, was sentenced on Aug. 22 to one year in prison on the same charges. After spending a short time in custody, Sears was released pending appeal.
According to a posting on the Your Ward News website that was written by St. Germaine, “after spending five days in jail, on August 27, 2019, like Jesus, Dr. Sears rose again.”
According to St. Germaine, “Sears accused the lower court judge of being biased and giving insufficient reasons for convicting us, and making other legal errors. The Superior Court judge agreed with Dr. Sears that his appeal has merit.
“He walked out of the court and back into the arms of his wife and son, fresh handcuff marks still on his wrists in the same spots where Jesus was wounded when he was nailed to the cross.”
As a bail condition, Your Ward News must cease publishing, St. Germaine stated.
Jewish groups expressed disappointment with St. Germaine’s sentence.
Noah Shack, vice-president of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) for the Greater Toronto Area, said, “St. Germaine has shown a complete lack of remorse for wilfully promoting hate against women and Jews. After his sentencing, St. Germaine claimed that Your Ward News did not cross the line from offensive speech to criminal hate promotion because ‘there is no line.’ This clearly demonstrates the absence of any empathy towards the victims of his racism, anti-Semitism and misogyny.”
“We are disappointed that St. Germaine won’t be spending any time behind bars,” said Michael Mostyn, the CEO of B’nai Brith Canada. “However, at a time of rising extremism, this case serves as an important reminder to hate-mongers that their venom will not be tolerated in Canada.”
Avi Benlolo, the CEO of the Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, said that, “We’re happy he received a 12-month sentence. We’re unhappy he has to serve it at home. There’s a possibility that from the convenience of being home, he can continue publishing.”
Your Ward News has been the subject of controversy for years. Critics called it anti-Semitic, misogynistic, homophobic and pro-Nazi.
In sentencing Sears, Judge Blouin said that the paper “consistently blamed, demonized and maligned Jews. Women were represented as inferior, immoral and less than human. Physical and sexual violations against them were counselled and celebrated.”