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NAACP holds press conference for incarcerated surgeon

The NAACP wants answers from a local judge. Sylvester McClain spoke at the group’s press conference Wednesday and said his son Gregory didn’t get a fair trial or fair sentencing in his harassment case.

Gregory McClain is a former UM Hospital employee. He is currently in jail on harassment charges, after someone made threatening phone calls telling an employee to drop sexual harassment allegations she had made against McClain. Gregory McClain’s father says the man who made the actual calls even told police McClain didn’t tell him to do it.

“The prosecutor told the person that committed the crime – We don’t want you, we want Dr. McClain, and if you don’t testify you’re going back to prison for eight months,” McClain said.

McClain said his son accepted a plea deal after his lawyer warned him getting a fair trial in today’s racial climate would be too difficult. McClain said the terms of his son’s plea deal were supposed to keep him out of jail, but that was ignored by the judge.

“Judge Crane chose not to honor that, put him in jail for four months,” McClain said. “He served more than 75 percent of his term. I’m here to say Judge Crane, let my son go.”

Sylvester McClain said he was particularly bothered to learn his son was sentenced to jail time by the same judge who gave no jail time to the man who made felony terror threats against black students right after Mizzou’s 2015 protests.

“Judge Crane needs to let Dr. McClain go,” McClain said. “And he needs to explain to the people that elected him, why is he giving less sentencing to felons that are white and more severe and harsh sentences for blacks that only have misdemeanors?”

Gregory McClain is scheduled for release November 19.

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