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HindustanTimes Sun,20 Apr 2014

Washington man indicted for hate crime against Sikh

PTI   Washington, April 03, 2013
First Published: 10:14 IST(3/4/2013) | Last Updated: 10:55 IST(3/4/2013)

A federal grand jury in Seattle indicted a Washington man on charges of hate crime against a 50-year-old Sikh man.

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Jamie Larson, 49, now faces a maximum of 10 years of imprisonment sentenced.

The Department of Justice in a statement said yesterday that Larson has been charged with one count of violating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr Hate Crimes Prevention Act that was enacted in October 2009.

The indictment alleges that on October 17, the subject assaulted the victim, based upon the victim's actual and perceived race, color and national origin, which included Middle Eastern and Arab descent. The defendant was arrested at the scene of the attack after a witness called 911.

The Shepard-Byrd law criminalises acts of physical violence causing bodily injury motivated by any person's actual or perceived race, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or disability.

"Attacks such as this one, based on prejudice and racial hate, are contrary to who we are and violate the law," said US Attorney Jenny A Durkan.

"Protecting the civil rights of all the members of our community is a top priority for our office," he said.

California-headquartered North American Punjabi Association expressed its satisfaction on Larson's indictment, saying "these kinds of racial attacks are a slam of glorious history of our Country."

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