Translation Leads to Hate Crime Charges for Two Chicago-Area Men in Anti-Gay Assault on Woman

A June 28 attack on a woman outside a suburban Chicago restaurant has led to hate crime charges after remarks that the men made in Arabic during the attack have been translated as anti-gay, the Chicago Tribune reports:

Alshoweat_shaban "Mohammad Shaban, 35, of Hickory Hills, and Akram Alshoweat, 25, of Oak Lawn, are now charged with felony hate crime and robbery in an alleged attack on a woman June 28. Prosecutors originally had charged the men with a misdemeanor count of battery, a spokesman for the Cook County state's attorney's office said Tuesday.

"We were asked to take another look at the case," spokesman Andy Conklin said… Conklin said the slurs were made in Arabic, but investigators were able to translate what the men shouted. 'When translated, it was determined that the defendants made numerous disparaging remarks and anti-gay slurs,' a news release from the state's attorney's office said.

The two men allegedly shouted at the victim as she entered a Mediterranean restaurant in the 7800 block of 95th Avenue. When the victim, a 34-year-old woman, left the restaurant, prosecutors said Shaban and Alshoweat punched and kicked her, then took her wallet, cell phone and keys."

The men face up to seven years in prison.

Posted August 4, 2010 at 7:58am ETC by Andy Towle
in Chicago, crime, News