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Man jailed for rally riots, torch march attends university

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Cole Evan White joined torch-carrying white supremacists on a march through the University of Virginia’s campus and attacked anti-racism protesters the next day. Within a matter of days, he enrolled at a university in California.

White, 26, continued his studies at San Francisco State University after he pleaded guilty to conspiring to riot on the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia. He was jailed for more than seven months between his October 2018 arrest and his release on $10,000 bond in May 2019.

Now he’s facing a possible prison term. A federal judge is scheduled to sentence White on Friday for his role in the violence that reverberated far from the Virginia college town.


San Francisco State University spokesman Kent Bravo said the admissions process for it and other schools in the California State University system does not ask applicants about their criminal background. The university learned of White’s arrest and guilty plea when an Associated Press reporter inquired about his status this week, according to Bravo.

Bravo said White is currently a part-time student who first enrolled in the fall 2017 semester, which started less than a month after White joined members of a now-defunct white supremacist group called the Rise Above Movement in attacking counterprotesters at the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville.

“San Francisco State University unequivocally condemns white supremacy,” Bravo said in a statement Monday. “We send our compassion and concern to those affected by the events of that tragic weekend, specifically the victims and families of those who were targeted by individuals motivated by hate.”

White is one of four Rise Above Movement members or associates who pleaded guilty to charges that they punched, kicked, choked and head-butted counterprotesters at the August 2017 rally. White’s three co-defendants already have been sentenced to between two and three years