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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Suburban Girls Face Hate-Crime Charges
by Amy Wooten
2007-05-23

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Two female 16-year-old Crystal Lake South High School students face hate-crime charges after allegedly plastering their high school's halls and distributing anti-gay fliers directed towards a fellow student in the school's parking lot.

The actions against their former male friend landed the two girls in juvenile court on May 15, after being arrested by Crystal Lake police on May 11. Both, unnamed due to their ages, also face charges of obstruction of justice and disorderly conduct, and one teen faces an additional charge of resisting a police officer.

McHenry County State's Attorney Lou Bianchi told Windy City Times that despite arguments being made by many locals about the right to free speech, what the two girls did is clearly a hate crime.

'They had the intent to alarm and disturb another, and they were successful in that,' Bianchi said. 'In alarming and disturbing, they also committed a hate crime. Their words ... were directed against a specific individual of a certain sexual orientation.'

Bianchi would not comment on the exact wording of the flier because it is evidence. However, other sources quote those who have viewed the flier as containing a picture of the male student kissing another male, with the wording 'God hates fags.'

A status hearing for both girls will take place on May 22.

Last spring, this northwest suburb was the site of protests against bringing the Chicago Gay Games' rowing event to town.


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