Crime

Jury rejects terrorism convict’s claim of mistreatment in Illinois prison

Some of the characters from South Park.
Some of the characters from South Park. Comedy Central

A lawsuit brought by a man who claimed he was mistreated in an Illinois prison after he was convicted of aiding a terrorist cell was rejected by a jury on Wednesday.

Zachary Chesser claimed that prison officials in Marion, where he spent three years in federal prison, retaliated against him for drafting an email in 2012 that described his alleged mistreatment, but six jurors in Benton unanimously rejected the lawsuit in 55 minutes, according to the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois.

The trial was in Benton. Chesser appeared at the trial by video from a maximum-security prison in Colorado.

Chesser had been sentenced to 25 years in prison for threatening Matt Stone and Trey Parker, the creators of the Comedy Central television show “South Park,” as well as for soliciting violence and providing material support to terrorists.

Chesser was involved with al-Shabaab, the militant wing of a Somali group that fought a guerilla war and committed terrorism against the government there and African Union peacekeepers, according to court documents.

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