Man pleads guilty to harassing Penn State student over race

BELLEFONTE, Pa. (AP) – A man has pleaded guilty to harassing an Indian student over the color of his skin while they both attended Penn State.

Twenty-year-old Nicholas Tavella pleaded guilty Monday to ethnic intimidation, terroristic threats and other charges in a deal with prosecutors.

Campus police say Tavella, of Greensburg, was drunk when he began following the other student in December, asking whether the victim planned to rape someone. Police say Tavella told them he was “racially profiling” the other student because of his skin color.

He’s no longer listed as a student in Penn State’s directory.

His lawyer Wayne Bradburn Jr. says Tavella took the plea offer rather than risk going to trial.

District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller says such behavior “will not be tolerated in this country.”

He’s scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 18.

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