Man hiding his face
Nicholas Wayne Sherman (Screenshot/Fox40)

NorCal man sentenced to six months for antisemitic flyers

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A 34-year-old Sacramento man who plastered a messianic synagogue with antisemitic flyers and left leaflets advertising a white supremacist group at an elementary school last fall was sentenced to 180 days in county jail this week.

The Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday that Nicholas Sherman would serve roughly six months behind bars. The supporter of the white power group Aryan Nations taped up “Hitler was right” flyers outside of Carmichael’s Shalom le Israel center and two weeks later left flyers advertising Aryan Nations at homes and an elementary school. 

Antisemitic flyers stuck to menorah
Antisemitic flyers stuck to a menorah at Shalom le Israel in Carmichael said “Hitler was right,” Oct. 20 2021. (Boris Tsiprush)

Though it calls itself a synagogue and its members follow Jewish customs, Shalom le Israel members, almost all of them immigrants from the former Soviet Union, believe Jesus is the “promised Messiah of Israel,” a belief many Jews see as incompatible with Judaism. Some consider Messianic Jews to be Christian.

Still, the distinction appeared to matter little to Sherman, who covered a large, permanent menorah fixture outside the center with images of Hitler’s face; video footage of his arrest showed a swastika pendant dangling from his car keys. For papering the menorah, he earned a felony conviction for “desecrating a religious symbol.”

Swastika keychain
Sherman’s swastika keychain, photographed by TV news media on Dec. 22, 2021.(Screenshot/Fox40)

Aryan Nations is a Christian Identity movement similar to the KKK that blends virulent ant-Black racism, antisemitism and xenophobia. It formed in the 1970s.

Sherman also pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of “terrorism by symbol” for leaving flyers bearing a Nazi swastika at the elementary school. According to California law, swastikas, desecrated crosses and nooses are considered “terrorizing” symbols that can be prosecuted if left on private property or at a public setting like a school. 

Sherman was not convicted on 12 other counts the DA initially charged for flyering individual homes. 

It took more than two months for police to investigate the flyering incidents before they arrested Sherman on his way to work on Dec. 22. The first incident occurred on Oct. 4, when Sherman left flyers in plastic bags on doorsteps in the suburban town of Carmichael and on the grounds of Deterding Elementary. The flyering outside Shalom le Israel occurred on Oct. 20, according to law enforcement.

The DA’s office said officials relied on video footage and fingerprints found on the plastic bags during the course of the investigation.The prosecutor was Deputy District Attorney Megan Eixenberger, of Sacramento County’s Gangs and Hate Crimes unit.

Since Sherman has been incarcerated since Dec. 22, he will likely be released in late June. He will then be subject to two years of “formal probation,” the DA’s office said, during which he will be subject to law enforcement search and seizure, including of his computers. Sherman also will not be allowed to “possess Aryan Nations propaganda in a way to disseminate it to the public,” the DA’s office said.

Gabe Stutman
Gabe Stutman

Gabe Stutman is the news editor of J. Follow him on Twitter @jnewsgabe.