Two Men Found Guilty of Beating Sikh Man in Queens, Acquitted of Hate Crime

December 6, 2005

Source: Newsday,0,4807165.story?coll=ny-top-headlines

On December 6, 2005 Newsday reported, "Five men accused of badly beating a Sikh man in Queens last year were acquitted of hate crime charges Monday, but each was convicted of a single charge for their role in the attack.

The men, who live in Long Island and Queens, were exonerated of the most serious charge of assault in the second degree as a hate crime but two were convicted of second-degree assault after the 5-week non-jury trial.

Queens prosecutors charged them with taunting two Sikh men, Rajinder Singh Khalsa and Gurcharan Singh, for wearing their religious turbans and then proceeded to attack them outside the Villa Russo restaurant on 101 Avenue on July 11, 2004.

Before delivering his verdict inside the Kew Gardens courtroom, Queens Supreme Court Justice Seymour Rotker raised questions about the credibility of at least one witness and others were 'hesitant or reluctant' to testify... Prosecutors said the two men punched Khalsa in the face, knocked him to the ground and continued to beat him until he was unconscious as other defendants joined in. He suffered multiple fractures and vision loss, prosecutors said... Sentencing is set for Dec. 22."