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Monday, 11 October 2010

Staten Island teens charged with hate crime for attacking Muslim classmate over faith (USA)

Four Staten Island teens are facing hate-crime charges for taunting a Muslim classmate because of his faith, calling him a "terrorist" and repeatedly punching him in the genitals, cops said Monday.

"They took advantage of me because I was quiet," the 16-year-old-victim, whose first name is Kristian, told the Staten Island Advance, which first reported the story of the abuse.

Kristian's emotionally scarring ordeal is part of a disturbing spike in hate crimes across the city that was highlighted by news on Friday that a sadistic Bronx gang tortured three men because they were gay.

Police said the four Staten Island boys - three 14-year-olds who are Latino and a 15-year-old who is black - were collared Sunday night on charges of assault and aggravated harassment, both as hate crimes. They are being charged as minors, and police did not release their names.

The teens tormented Kristian, whose family is from Trinidad, over a months-long period while they were classmates at Intermediate School 51 on Staten Island, police said.

Kristian thought the abuse would end when he began classes at Staten Island's Port Richmond High School this fall. But when he learned that two of the bullies were in his freshman class, he told his parents of the abuse, and they called police, according to the Advance.

Kristian said the abuse has left him with trouble concentrating. He is being treated by a psychiatrist and a neurologist, his parents told the paper.

"The therapist says it's going to take a very long time for him to come back to being normal again," the boy's father told the Advance.

NY Daily News