For Immediate Release
Man sentenced for conspiracy to trespass and trespass at Sonoma County Farms
SANTA ROSA, CA | November 30, 2023
Wayne Hsiung, a 42-year-old California state bar licensed attorney from San Francisco, was sentenced earlier today to serve 2 years on probation and 90 days in county jail after having been convicted by a Sonoma County jury in November of this year to charges of felony conspiracy to commit trespass and two counts of trespass. The convictions stem from large animal rights protests staged on Sonoma County Farms in 2018 and 2019.
The Honorable Judge Laura Passaglia presided over the sentencing hearing, and in addition to the jail sentence ordered Hsiung as a condition of his formal probation to have no contact with all alleged co-conspirators, stay 50 yards away from the victim farms, and to not enter any commercial animal feeding operations in Sonoma County without permission from the owner. Further, the defendant will be subject to warrantless searches. Restitution to the victims was reserved, as well as various fines and fees.
District Attorney Carla Rodriguez stated, “The First Amendment is not a license to commit crime. Mr. Hsiung went beyond mere activism and decided to engage in unlawful, reckless, and potentially dangerous behavior, putting the farmers, their employees, and flocks of birds at risk of harm by his conduct.”
On May 29, 2018, Hsiung and hundreds of activists from a group known as Direct Action Everywhere (DxE), assembled in the area of Sunrise Farms in Petaluma, Sonoma County. Hsiung, directly and through others, entered onto the farm, refused to leave, entered structures on the farm, and removed chickens. Hsiung and others effectively shut down the farm operations for hours.
On June 3, 2019, Hsiung, and hundreds of activists from DxE, assembled in the area of Reichardt Duck Farm in Petaluma, Sonoma County. Hsiung and DxE entered onto the farm, refused to leave, chained themselves to various fixtures, entered structures, removed ducks, and damaged a processing plant conveyor belt. Hsiung, once again, effectively shut down the farm operations for hours.
The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Robert Waner, Deputy District Attorney Jessalee Mills, and District Attorney Investigator Alexis Bartley. The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office headed the investigation.
Media Spokesperson, Assistant District Attorney Brian Staebell
Media Coordinator, Carrie Trevena