MN: Teens Sentenced for Harassing Muslims


Three teenage boys who were allegedly part of a group calling themselves the Minnesota Mafia have been sentenced in juvenile court for bias crimes that include spitting on a person and yelling racial slurs at people outside Rochester's downtown Islamic Center.

Court files say they call themselves the "Minnesota Mafia," and their focus is on violence and hate.

On Monday, a 16-year-old Rochester teen identified as the leader was sentenced on a bias-motivated harassment charge stemming from incidents at the Rochester Islamic Center last September.

The teen pleaded guilty May 13 to a gross misdemeanor harassment charge. Three weeks earlier, another 16-year-old Rochester boy was found delinquent on a similar gross misdemeanor charge from the same incident. Both teens were sentenced to probation and community service work, and ordered to follow a number of conditions.

A third teen, a 15-year-old, was charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct, according to Olmsted County Attorney Mark Ostrem. That is not public.

According to the petition filed against the teen, police identified teens who allegedly were involved in going to the Islamic Center and harassing members, and even entering the mosque and causing damage.

"The group discusses violence all the time and often the discussions focus on doing violent things to Somali persons,'' the petition said police were told by one teen.

 


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