Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Two sentenced to 3 years in jail for assaulting Sikh-American

Two sentenced to 3 years in jail for assaulting Sikh-American

Little and Leblanc, the prosecutor said, went out of their way to cut Khalsa's hair, which he maintained unshorn as part of his Sikh faith, "making this so clearly a hate crime".

The court found Chase Little and Colton Leblanc guilty of felony assault and hate crime and sentenced them to 3 years of jail time in the California State Prison for the attack on Maan Singh Khalsa.

Khalsa addressed his attackers in court, saying he still views them as 'brothers'.

The Indian-American man, Maan Singh Khalsa, was attacked in the Richmond Bay area in California a year ago by Chase Little and Colton Leblanc.

"Cutting a Sikh's hair is one of the most humiliating things anyone can do to a Sikh", he said. "I have never seen Mr".

"I hope that you will learn about me and my community and one day consider me you brother too", Khalsa said.

Two men were sentenced Thursday to three year-prison terms for assaulting a Sikh man in Northern California and admitting to hate crimes.

O'Connell told India-West last fall that - from the moment the DA's office got the case - "it has always been looked at as a hate crime".

Khalsa said it may take the rest of his life for him to recover from the attack.

"We believe that in order to combat hate you first need to recognize it and today's verdict is a first step in doing just that", Malhi said.

In recounting the assault, Khalsa tried to reason with his attackers. Someone in a pickup truck next to him had thrown an empty beer can into his auto.

Leblanc and Little then jumped out the truck and punched Khalsa numerous times through an open window.

While stopped at another red light, two men got out of the truck, ran up to Khalsa's vehicle, reached into the open window, repeatedly punched his face and yelled profanities. When he put his hand out to stop them, his pinky finger was cut so badly that doctors were forced to amputate the digit.

"This has also impacted me personally; I'm a proud practicing member of the Sikh faith and if this could happen to him it could happen to me", Malhi said.

A Chicago-area teenager was charged with a hate crime after a 2015 road rage incident in which he called 53-year-old Sikh taxi driver Inderjit Mukker "Bin Laden" and repeatedly hit him in the face, breaking his cheekbone. The Sikh Coalition, meanwhile, told reporters that since the 9/11 terror attacks, for the last 15 years, the Sikh community remained at a greater risk of being targeted on the basis of racial profiling and bigotry than the average American.

"The attack upon Mr. Khalsa based upon his perceived religion and identity is an attack upon us all", said Contra Costa County Deputy District Attorney Simon O'Connell, in a statement released by the Sikh Coalition, which has advocated for Khalsa since the attack.

"Whether they were mistaken about his nationality or religion is immaterial".

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