A federal jury ruled that an Arizona rancher who has complained about illegal immigrants trespassing and trashing his border property has to pay four women $73,000 after he detained them and other migrants at gunpoint. The jury in Tucson found that Roger Barnett did not violate the women’s civil rights but was liable for four claims of assault and infliction of emotional distress, reports the Los Angeles Times.
It is not the first time Barnett has been ordered to pay such a civil penalty. In 2006 he was ordered to pay $100,000 to a Latino family of U.S. citizens who said Barnett threatened them while they were out deer hunting. Barnett is well-known in southeastern Arizona, which has been a hot spot for illegal border crossings since the late 1990s. Immigrant rights groups have long called him a vigilante; supporters say he is simply defending his land.