MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WRBL) – The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Alabama announced on Thursday a Dale County woman was sentenced on Wednesday to a year behind bars after violating the civil rights of her neighbors.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says that based on 64-year-old Cheryl Lynn Pytleski of Chancellor, Alabama, plea deal and other court documents, on Oct. 18, 2019, Pytleski placed “racially offensive” homemade dolls on her next-door African American neighbor’s fence; in an attempt to force the family to move.

Pytleski pled guilty to a criminal violation of the Fair Housing Act in March 2023. In Pytleski’s plea agreement, she admitted to using the threat of force to intimidate her neighbors because of their race and because they were living near her residence.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, anyone violates the Fair Housing Act through “using force or threatening to use force to willfully injure, intimidate, or interfere with someone because of their race, 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 dwelling.”

Pytleski’s 12-month prison sentence is the maximum allowed under federal statute.