A 21-year-old transgender man and former neo-Nazi charged with threatening journalists will not face any prison time after a federal judge concluded he had "already suffered enough," The Associated Press reported.
Taylor Parker-Dipeppe, who identifies by the name Tyler, was charged in 2020 with threatening journalists along with three other members of the white supremacist organization the Atomwaffen Division. According to police, the group had left or attempted to leave threatening messages covered in Swastikas and statements such as "You have been visited by your local Nazis" at the homes of journalists.
However, his childhood was far from easy.
Growing up in Egg Harbor, New Jersey, Parker-Dipeppe had known he was transgender since the age of five. But when his mother bought him "boy clothes," his father threw them away and proceeded to abuse him, AP reported, citing the sentencing memo written by Parker-Dipeppe's attorney, Peter Mazzone.
Mazzone further elaborated on his client's troubled childhood, according to AP. Bullying in high school was so incessant that the school was required to settle a $50,000 lawsuit. Afterwards, Parker-Dipeppe moved in with his mother and her new husband - a violently abusive alcoholic.
After that, he joined the Atomwaffen in a bid to find acceptance.
They organization is classified as a hate group, and several killings have been attributed to it in the past.
Reportedly, Parker-Dipeppe was just a low-level member of this threat operation, which prosecutors have said was meant to be a retaliation for negative publicity. It seems that Parker-Dipeppe's involvement was solely limited to driving around to put up posters, as he was the only member in the area with a car, AP reported.
But he later admitted to his involvement to his mother, and, at her advice, admitting his transgender identity to the Atomwaffen. He was immediately thrown out of the group, and according to Mazzone, still fears retaliation, AP reported.
Mazzone had argued in court that his client's troubled background would make prison "devastating," AP reported.
And the court agreed, with US District Judge John C. Coughenour sentencing him to time served, adding that “None of us have suffered the difficult situation this defendant has endured as a result of his gender identity confusion... Enough’s enough,” according to AP.
While it is unclear if this factored into the decision, the ruling comes amid International Transgender Day of Visibility, celebrated on March 31, which seeks to raise awareness for transgendered people.