Swastika Branded On Mentally Challenged Victim

NM trio face hate crime charges
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted May 10, 2010 1:23 AM CDT
New Mexico prosecutors are pursuing hate crime charges in the case to maximize the sentences.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Three men in New Mexico will be charged with a hate crime for burning a swastika into the arm of a mentally-challenged man, say prosecutors. The attackers, between the ages of 24 and 28, already face kidnapping, aggravated battery and other felony charges, but prosecutors have vowed to pursue additional charges under hate crime legislation in order to maximize the possible sentences, AP reports.

"We'll explore every conceivable available avenue in charging them with a hate crime because what happened to the victim was so horribly wrong," said a prosecutor. The trio picked up the 22-year-old victim from a Navajo Indian reservation and drove him to an apartment where they branded him with a heated metal coat hanger, shaved another swastika into his hair, and wrote humiliating words on him with a permanent marker, police said. They then kicked him out of their house.

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