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Cantwell, counter-suits dismissed

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Christopher Cantwell heads into the Albemarle County Circuit Courthouse on Nov. 16, 2018 for a motions hearing by the prosecution on the conditions of his bond.

Dueling lawsuits between white supremacist Chris Cantwell and two anti-racist activists were voluntarily dismissed Thursday.

According to court documents, activists Emily Gorcenski and Kristopher Goad reached an agreement with Cantwell to dismiss the cases.

Cantwell’s suit accused Gorcenski and Goad of “false and fraudulent criminal warrants against Plaintiff … in an effort to stop his exercise of his rights guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and the Constitution of Virginia, also maliciously punish, discredit, vex and harass him.” It was filed in January and had sought nearly $1 million in damages.

Gorcenski and Goad later filed a counter-suit, alleging harassment and targeting from Cantwell online.

Both suits stem from the infamous Aug. 11, 2017, torch-lit march on the University of Virginia Grounds. Gorcenski and Goad were among the anti-racist activists surrounded by white nationalists at the Rotunda and said they were pepper-sprayed in their faces by Cantwell.

Originally indicted on charges of felony illegal use of gas, Cantwell’s counts were amended to misdemeanor assault as part of a plea agreement in Albemarle County Circuit Court.

In July, Cantwell was sentenced to five months in jail, but he will not serve any more time. Before he was granted bond, Cantwell spent 3½ months behind bars. Because they were misdemeanor convictions, he only had to serve half the time, according to Albemarle Commonwealth’s Attorney Robert Tracci.

Per stipulations of the plea agreement, Cantwell is barred from the state, is not to possess a firearm in Virginia and he is to have no direct or indirect contact with the victims, including mentioning them on social media or his podcast.

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