Man charged with using racial epithets, threats against Louisiana fifth-grade students during COVID-19 Zoom call; he targeted the class based on race, prosecutors say

Published 9:42 am Wednesday, July 6, 2022

A Kentucky man has been indicted on federal charges after he reportedly targeted a Louisiana school fifth-grade class’ Zoom call and used racist language and made threats against the students, federal officials said.

U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced that Brian Adams, 22, of Paintsville, Kentucky, was indicted on June 30 by a federal grand jury for communication of interstate threats to kidnap or injure, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 875(c).

According to the indictment, Adams, transmitted a threat to a fifth-grade class at the Laureate Academy Charter School in Harvey, Louisiana, on or about October 14, 2020. At the time, the school was conducting class virtually over Zoom due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Specifically, Adams is alleged to have used racial epithets and threats against the students. The grand jury also made a special finding that Adams selected the fifth-grade class as the object of his threat because of the actual and perceived race of the students and teachers.

If convicted of this offense, Adams faces a maximum sentence of 5 years, a fine of up to $250,000, up to 1 year of supervised release, and a $100 mandatory special assessment fee.

U.S. Attorney Evans reiterated that the indictment is merely an allegation and that the guilt of the defendant must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorneys Tracey N. Knight and Jonathan L. Shih are in charge of the prosecution.