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Amherst man, 18, accused of harassing Jewish victim, charged with hate crime

An Amherst man is charged with a felony hate crime after prosecutors say he repeatedly harassed a Jewish victim by phone over a period of months.

Christian McCaffrey, 18, faces a count of second-degree aggravated harassment as a hate crime, according to the Erie County District Attorney's Office.

McCaffrey engaged in a monthslong "campaign of harassment" against the unidentified male victim involving phone calls and text messages, prosecutors said.

The DA's office and Amherst police also are investigating a fire at the victim's home that is described as suspicious.

McCaffrey and the victim share the same circle of acquaintances, DA's spokesman Joseph Spino said.

McCaffrey was arraigned in Amherst Town Court and released without bail. He must return to court Jan. 13 and faces up to 1 1/3 to four years in prison if convicted of the charge.

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