Hate crime charge in NYC attack on Sikh professor

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Associated Press

Posted on April 20, 2014 at 12:02 AM

Updated Sunday, Apr 20 at 4:34 AM

NEW YORK (AP) — A man police say pulled the beard of a Sikh professor last year in New York City has been charged with a hate crime.

Christian Morales was charged Saturday with aggravated harassment in the September attack of Columbia University professor Prabhjot Singh (PRUHB'-joht sihng) in upper Manhattan.

A phone number for Morales is out of service. It's unclear if he has an attorney.

Singh has said a group of young men called him "Osama" and a "terrorist" before one grabbed his beard and others beat him. He suffered a fractured jaw.

Hate crimes task force detectives had been investigating the case.

Sikhism is a religion that originated in India. In some cases, practitioners have been targeted by attackers who confuse it with Islam.

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