A.G. Schneiderman Announces Indictment Of Former Suny Potsdam Student For Alleged Threats Directed At Professor

News from Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman

September 19, 2016

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Amjad Hussain Arraigned On Indictment Alleging He Directed Homophobic And Racially Motivated Threats To SUNY Potsdam Professor 

Schneiderman: We Treat Racist And Homophobic Threats With The Utmost Concern, And Will Prosecute Those Responsible

CANTON – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the indictment of Amjad Hussain, a former student at the State University of New York at Potsdam, charging him with two felony counts of Aggravated Harassment in the Second Degree as a Hate Crime and one count of Criminal Solicitation in the Fourth Degree. 

Hussain is charged with delivering two messages to the professor that included death threats and racist and homophobic language. The messages also threatened the professor’s family. Hussain is also charged with soliciting another individual to deliver a third threatening note to the professor.

“Nobody should be made to feel unsafe or subject to harassment in their workplace, least of all our state’s hardworking, dedicated teachers,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “This indictment sends the message, loud and clear, that racist and homophobic threats will be treated with the utmost concern, and those responsible for such harassment will be held accountable.”

According to filed documents and statements made in court today, on two separate occasions in April 2015, Hussain, 23, of Elmira, delivered two notes to the professor’s office containing homophobic and racist pictures and language, threatening physical harm and death to the professor and the professor’s family. Following his arrest in November 2015, the defendant solicited another individual to deliver a third note, also containing threats and racist and homophobic language directed at the professor. The defendant faces up to four years in state prison on each felony count if convicted. He was arraigned today before the Honorable Derek P. Champagne in St. Lawrence County Court. The defendant pleaded not guilty and was released under probation supervision with the condition of an order of protection for the benefit of the victim. The next court date is October 11th at 12:00 p.m.

The charges against the defendant are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The Attorney General thanks the SUNY Potsdam University Police and the New York State Police for their work on this matter.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Mary Gorman of the Public Integrity Bureau and former Assistant Attorney General Michael Brown of the Binghamton Regional Office of the New York State Attorney General under the supervision of Public Integrity Bureau Chief Daniel Cort and Deputy Bureau Chief Stacy Aronowitz. The investigation is being handled by Investigator Chad Shelmidine of the Watertown Regional Office and by Investigator David Buske of the Investigations Bureau, with support from Supervising Investigator Richard Doyle, Deputy Bureau Chief Antoine Karam, and Bureau Chief Dominick Zarrella. Executive Deputy Attorney General Kelly Donovan leads the Criminal Justice Division. The Binghamton Regional Office is led by Assistant Attorney General in Charge James E. Shoemaker. Executive Deputy Attorney General Martin J. Mack leads all Regional Offices for the Office of the Attorney General.