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Case Number: 7:20-cr-00577-NSR
Judge: Nelson S. Román
Court: United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Manhattan County)
Plaintiff's Attorney: United States Attorney’s Office
Defendant's Attorney: Mike Burke
Description: New York City, New York criminal defense lawyer represented defendant charged with interstate communication of threats.
“David Kaufman, a self-described ‘Incel,’ or ‘Involuntary Celibate,’ expressed his hatred of women by terrorizing and harassing his victims though threats of violence. The Court’s sentence sends a clear message to the public that perpetrators of violence against women will be held accountable for their crimes.”
According to the Complaint, Indictment, other documents in the public record, as well as statements made in public court proceedings:
KAUFMAN self-identifies as an “Incel” or “Involuntary Celibate,” which refers to a group of domestic extremists who adhere to a violent and misogynist ideology of male supremacy. Incels believe they are entitled to sex with women and to women’s bodies, and they blame women for refusing to have sex with them. Incels have an active online community and over the last eight years, Incels also have committed acts of violence against women around the world, including in the United States. For example, in 2014, a self-proclaimed Incel named Elliot Rodger declared a “War on Women” and killed six people and injured fourteen others near a college campus in California. Prior to these attacks, Rodger posted a video manifesto online, in which he explained that he planned his attack to punish women for rejecting him and for depriving him of sex, and to punish sexually active men because he envied them.
In or about 2019 and 2020, KAUFMAN harassed, threatened, and stalked numerous victims. In or about February 2019, KAUFMAN sent a bomb, rape, and death threat to a female victim. A few months later, beginning in or about October 2019, KAUFMAN sent two victims (“Victim-1” and “Victim-2”), among others, violent and threatening messages using over 50 social media accounts. In these messages, KAUFMAN self-identified as an Incel, expressed his hatred of women, and threatened to commit acts of violence. For example:
On or about June 24, 2020, KAUFMAN sent the following message to Victim-1: “Hey wanna hear a joke? What’s worse than 10 Stacy’s nailed to one tree? One Stacy nailed to ten trees [laughing crying face emoji].” “Stacy” is an Incel term that refers to an attractive female who rejects or refuses to have sex with an Incel, is hated by Incels, and is targeted by Incels for harassment, vitriol, humiliation, and violence.
On or about June 29, 2020, KAUFMAN sent a series of messages to Victim-2. These messages included an image of one of Elliot Rodger’s victims, a deceased female who had been stabbed to death, accompanied by the following message: “This is what happened when a woman said ‘no’ to Elliot Rodger . . . . Hopefully [Victim-1] never said no to someone just like Elliot Rodger.”
In or about July 2020, KAUFMAN posted the following messages: “Don’t piss off BIG MAN” and “When [Victim-1] and I are dead, we’ll be in heaven together forever.”
On or about July 11, 2020, KAUFMAN sent the following message to Victim-1: “Women have done nothing but spit in my face. Soon I’ll be getting a gun.”
On or about July 12, 2020, KAUFMAN posted the following messages: “A beautiful environment is the darkest hell, if you have to experience it all alone . . . –Elliot Rodger” and “I don’t think [Victim-1] will be laughing too much later on."
KAUFMAN also created social media accounts using the first and last names of Victim-1 and Victim-2, respectively, and impersonated Victim-1 and Victim-2 online.
In the summer of 2020, law enforcement officers approached KAUFMAN and told him to stop harassing Victim-1 and Victim-2. On or about July 14, 2020, KAUFMAN was arrested on state criminal charges and an order of protection was issued in Westchester County prohibiting KAUFMAN from, among other things, communicating or contacting Victim-1 or Victim-2.
Notwithstanding the court order of protection, state charges, and multiple warnings by law enforcement, KAUFMAN continued to harass, threaten, and stalk Victim-1 and Victim-2 until he was federally charged and arrested in August 2020. KAUFMAN also conducted online surveillance of Victim-1’s residence and researched how to illegally purchase a gun and assemble a semi-automatic rifle.
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In addition to the prison sentence, KAUFMAN, 28, of Peekskill, New York, was sentenced to 3 years supervised release, with first six months of home detention, the conditions of which include orders of protection prohibiting KAUFMAN from, among other things, contacting certain victims and their family members.
Mr. Williams praised the outstanding investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s New York Joint Terrorism Task Force. Mr. Williams also thanked the New York State Police, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Cortlandt County Police Department, the Stamford Police Department, the Peekskill Police Department, the Mt. Pleasant Police Department, and the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office for their assistance and cooperation.
This prosecution is being handled by the Office’s National Security and International Narcotics Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jane Kim is in charge of the prosecution.
18:875C.F INTERSTATE COMMUNICATIONS - THREATS
18:2261.F INTERSTATE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
Outcome: Defendant was sentenced to 30 months in prison, after pleading guilty to stalking multiple victims between October 2019 and August 2020.