The University issued a trespass warning to Jason Kessler, a white nationalist and organizer of the “Unite the Right” rally last August, for reports of threats and harassment, according to an email statement Friday morning. The warning prohibits Kessler from entering University property.
“The warning was issued due to multiple reports from students that Mr. Kessler threatened them, targeted them through cyber-bullying and cyber-harassment, and targeted them based on protected characteristics,” the statement reads. “Kessler also intentionally and purposefully misled officers of the University Police Department regarding the torchlight rally that he helped organize on Aug. 11. His conduct on Aug. 11 threatened the health and safety of members of the University community.”
Under , a trespass warning is issued by the UPD Chief of Police for violations of Virginia criminal codes or University regulations. The UPD can also create trespass warnings for individuals deemed to have engaged in “conduct that threatens the health, safety, or property” of a University community member.
The policy also indicates Kessler will be banned from Grounds for four years, though it makes exceptions for emergency care in the University Medical Center. Kessler can also appeal the warning to the University’s executive vice president and chief operating officer.
Kessler twice at the School of Law recently, claiming he is studying for an upcoming civil suit. He was met by protesters both times — one of whom, Charlottesville resident Eric Martin, was arrested for trespassing. As a result, the School of Law began limiting its library to law students, faculty and staff for the remainder of the semester. This policy is standard for the final exam period but began a day early. Additionally, security at the Law library will be further increased and UPD patrols will become more frequent.
A violation of a trespass warning is a Class 1 Misdemeanor, carrying less than 12 months imprisonment or a fine less than $2,500.
This is a developing story.