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Three college students and one former student were arraigned Tuesday and Wednesday and face five years in prison each for wearing masks while protesting a Richmond, Va., Confederate rally Saturday.
The four individuals, who were either current or former Virginia Commonwealth University students, violated a 1952 Virginia law created to unmask Ku Klux Klan members in the state, according to Richmond Times-Dispatch.
“I was wearing the mask to protect myself from people who I was told were filming and photographing us with the intent of doxxing us,” said Caroline Hill, the former student. She said she took part in the Saturday counter-protest to oppose Richmond’s Confederate monuments and “people running around Richmond with Confederate flags intimidating people.”
Police arrested Hill, along with VCU students Ian M. Gerson, Corissa C. Duffey, and Thomas W. Rockett for wearing masks, a couple of which appeared to be Halloween masks. Police had announced prior to the rally that they would be rigorously enforcing the mask law.
Tracy Thorne-Begland, Richmond’s general district judge, assigned the four individuals an Oct. 31 trial.
“For a charge of wearing a mask?” said Thorne-Begland regarding the Halloween trial date. “That [date] is available.”
The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out to Virginia Commonwealth University for comment but received none in time for press.
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