A south Alabama woman is going to federal prison after she hung racially offensive homemade dolls on her Black neighbors’ fence in an attempt to get them to move.
Cheryl Lynn Pytleski, 64, pleaded guilty to violating the civil rights of her neighbors, Middle District of Alabama U.S. Attorney Sandra Stewart announced Thursday.
Pytleski, of Chancellor, was sentenced to 12 months in prison.
The incident happened in Dale County on Oct. 18, 2019.
According to authorities, Pytleski hung racially offensive homemade dolls on the fence of her next-door neighbors, an African American family, in an attempt make the family move away.
Pytleski in April pleaded guilty to a criminal violation of the Fair Housing Act in March of this year.
In her plea agreement, Pytleski specifically admitted to using the threat of force to intimidate her neighbors because of their race and because they were occupying a dwelling next to her.
A person violates the Fair Housing Act if he or she uses force, or threatens the use of force, to willfully injure, intimidate, or interfere with, any person because of his or her race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin, who is or has been engaged in the selling, purchasing, renting, financing, occupying, or contracting or negotiating for the sale, purchase, rental, financing, or occupation of any dwelling.
The 12-month sentence, ordered on September 6, 2023, is the maximum allowed under the federal statute. There is no parole in the federal system.
The FBI and the Ozark Police Department investigated the case. Assistant United States Attorney Brett J. Talley prosecuted.