DALE COUNTY, Ala (WDHN) — A 64-year-old Ozark woman will spend the next year in a federal prison after pleading guilty to violating the civil rights of her neighbors in 2019, according to the Department of Justice.
In March 2023, Cheryl Lynn Pytleski pleaded guilty to a Fair Housing Act criminal violation. On September 6, she was sentenced to the maximum 12-month sentence under the federal statute.
According to the Department of Justice, in the plea agreement, Pytleski admitted to hanging “racially offensive homemade dolls” on the fence of her next-door neighbors, an African-American family, in October 2019. Pytleski was arrested that same month by Ozark Police.
In 2019, WDHN obtained videos showing the dolls hanging from the fence, showing the words “Boo Hoo” and the letters “KKK” spelled out.
Warning: These images may be graphic or offensive to some viewers:
The DOJ says the dolls were an attempt to make her neighbors move, and Pytleski admitted in the agreement to using threats of force to intimidate them due to their race.
A person violates the Fair Housing Act if he or she uses force, or threatens the use of force, to willfully injure, intimidate, or interfere with, any person because of his or her race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin, who is or has been engaged in the selling, purchasing, renting, financing, occupying, or contracting or negotiating for the sale, purchase, rental, financing, or occupation of any dwellingDepartment of Justice Press Release
There is no parole in the federal system.