Man accused of giving KKK fliers to minorities is arraigned - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Man accused of giving KKK fliers to minorities is arraigned

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BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) -- A white man accused of distributing Ku Klux Klan recruitment fliers to two minorities in Vermont has pleaded not guilty to disorderly conduct.

Twenty-one-year-old William Schenk was arraigned Friday in Burlington on the misdemeanor charges.

Prosecutors say because his conduct was motivated by race, the penalty could be enhanced to more than four years in prison. Authorities say he passed out the fliers to a black woman and a Hispanic woman.

Schenk is held on $15,000 bail. Vermont's defender general questioned whether, under the First Amendment, speech that is widely regarded as inappropriate rises to the level of a crime.

Schenk previously lived in Wilmington, North Carolina. An affidavit says he told police the KKK has no members in Vermont or New Hampshire and he traveled to Vermont for recruitment.

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