Couple sentenced in racial beach attack in Tahoe
June 30, 2010
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – A white Fairfield couple has been sentenced to 18 months each in prison in what authorities say was a racially motivated attack on an Indian immigrant.
Fifty-six-year-old Joseph Silva and his wife, 52-year-old Georgia Silva, were sentenced in federal court on Tuesday. A jury convicted them in March of violating 38-year-old Vishal Wadhwa’s civil rights in the July 2007 attack.
Authorities say the couple yelled racial slurs at Wadhwa on a South Lake Tahoe beach before knocking him to the ground and kicking him in the face.
The Silva’s lawyers said Wadhwa dared Georgia to attack him, and Joseph intervened only after the fight began.
Wadhwa suffered broken bones and lingering sensory problems.
The couple was previously sentenced in El Dorado County after pleading no contest to state assault and battery charges.