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Two men plead guilty to hate crime at Hickory Hills restaurant

Updated: December 12, 2012 6:28AM



Two south suburban men were given two years probation after pleading guilty last week to a hate crime for yelling anti-gay slurs at a woman in a Hickory Hills restaurant.

Mohammad Shaban and Akram Alshoweat pleaded guilty Tuesday to the hate crime and were sentenced to two years probation, said Andy Conklin, Cook County state’s attorney’s office spokesman.

The men had initially pleaded innocent to accusations they shouted anti-gay slurs at a woman, then punched and kicked her in the Hickory Hills restaurant on June 28, 2010.

Shaban, then 35, of Hickory Hills, and Alshoweat, then 22, of Oak Lawn, were initially charged with committing a hate crime, armed robbery and robbery.

The two were accused of shouting anti-gay slurs and other disparaging remarks in Arabic at a 34-year-old woman who walked into the restaurant, prosecutors said.

As the woman left, Shaban and Alshoweat attacked her and stole her cell phone, keys and wallet, prosecutors said. The pair were initially charged with misdemeanor battery, but the charges were later upgraded.



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