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Flushing woman mistakenly accused of racist email speaks out

Kathy Rae Szuch in Flushing speaks out following the backlash she received from an email she didn't send. (Photo credit: Amanda Chodnicki)

Many may be familiar with the saying, "You do something wrong, you pay the consequences."

Imagine doing absolutely nothing and still having to pay for someone else's wrongdoings.

That's exactly what happened to a woman in Flushing and for the first time, she's speaking about the incident.

Kathy Rae Szuch was called nasty names, received hateful messages and even received death threats.

This was due to the fact that somehow her email address was connected to a racist email sent to an Atlanta news anchor.

She said it has been a trying couple of days, but she is finally in good spirits.

Anchor Sharon Reed in Atlanta received an email from a "Kathy Rae", who called the "N" word.

She used the email as an opportunity to discuss about the topic of race both on-air and on Facebook.

Her social media post soon went viral with thousands of shares and thousands of comments.

But it only took one comment to put the blame on Szuch.

"I don't know how to say, 'Don't let this happen to you,' because there was nothing I could do to prevent this," she said.

Szuch said what started off as a normal day driving her bus in Flushing for children with special needs, quickly turned ugly.

"I had an appointment... a meeting with a Mr. Adams from HR and I had no idea what it was about," she said.

According to Szuch, they pulled up the infamous email.

"I said that wasn't me and they just asked me questions... asked for my email addresses," she said.

The superintendent with the Genesee Intermediate School District said they conducted an investigation, clearing Kathy's name.

But she said nothing can clear the hateful words from her mind that were sent to her from strangers across the country.

Szuch said she still fears for her safety.

"Somebody posted a picture of my house along with the address," she said.

She also fears for her family.

Kathy's daughter said her mom isn't the only one who is now afraid.

"I worried about her every day past that," her daughter said. " I called her and every time she wouldn't answer, it would make me automatically panic."

The family members are trying their best to stay positive.

They said they're truly thankful for the apologies and all they ask of people is to spread love, not hate.

Sharon Reed, the Atlanta anchor, told viewers they were targeting the wrong Kathy Rae, but our Kathy from Flushing is still receiving backlash.

She said she just wants it all to stop.


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