Oregon man enters plea in in Portland hate crime

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The suspect in a Portland hate crime against a Muslim couple has plead no contest to a pair of charges stemming from the 2017 incident, saying that participation in social media stoked his anger leading up to the crime.

Portland police arrested Fredrick Sorrell Harmes, 49, in 2017 after he allegedly followed a Muslim couple in his car, shouting threats and vulgar invective directed at the woman’s religious garments, and telling them to leave the country.

The charges were filed under Oregon’s bias crime statue, the state’s equivalent of a hate crime law, said B.J. Park, the Multnomah deputy district attorney who prosecuted the case. Both were for misdemeanor intimidation, and together carry a maximum sentence of just under two years.