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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Nazi pleads not guilty to vandalizing Spokane synagogue

UPDATED: Tue., March 2, 2021

Seen on a video monitor in a Spokane County Superior courtoom, Raymond Bryant, center, gives his "not guilty" plea to Judge Julie McKay, lower right, on the charge of harassment stemming from racist graffiti found on Temple Beth Shalom in Spokane. His arraignment was Tuesday, Mar. 2, 2021.  (Jesse Tinsley/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)
Seen on a video monitor in a Spokane County Superior courtoom, Raymond Bryant, center, gives his "not guilty" plea to Judge Julie McKay, lower right, on the charge of harassment stemming from racist graffiti found on Temple Beth Shalom in Spokane. His arraignment was Tuesday, Mar. 2, 2021. (Jesse Tinsley/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)

The self-identifying Nazi suspected of vandalizing a Spokane synagogue last month pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Tuesday.

After Raymond “Ray” Bryant, 44, told police that he had spray-painted swastikas on the Temple Beth Shalom and defaced the Holocaust Memorial there in an effort to recruit more white supremacists for his organization, police recommended charges of malicious harassment with threats and second-degree malicious mischief, according to court documents.

Tuesday morning, he pleaded not guilty to a single charge of malicious harassment with threats.

Bryant was the last of several inmates to be arraigned Tuesday. All but Bryant wore yellow jumpsuits. Bryant wore a white, short-sleeved jumpsuit, signifying his placement as a maximum security inmate.

Bryant initially told police that he had not been to the synagogue but, after some conversation with an officer, said he had been there and hoped to get media attention for his national Nazi organization because passing around Nazi flyers was not getting enough press, according to court documents.

At a Black Lives Matter protest in September, Bryant said he believes the Holocaust never happened. Historians estimate more than 5 million Jews were murdered during the genocide, according to the peer-reviewed journal Science Advances.

Spokane County Superior Court Judge Julie McKay scheduled Bryant’s trial for 9:30 a.m. April 26. {span id=”docs-internal-guid-7aca760e-7fff-cedd-89b9-abd43d742137”}{span}His bond was not changed from the $2,000 listed on the Spokane County Detention Services inmate roster.{/span}{/span}

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