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North Carolina man admits to ripping hijab off Muslim woman’s head on flight

May 15, 2016  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
North Carolina man admits to ripping hijab off Muslim woman’s head on flight

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A North Carolina man charged with ripping the hijab off the head off a Muslim woman on a Southwestern flight has pled guilty and could be facing jail time over the racial offense.

U.S. prosecutors said 37-year-old Gill Parker Payne was seated on a flight from Chicago to Albuquerque back on December 11th when he asked an unidentified woman to take off her garment.

Payne later confessed to police that he screamed “Take it off. This is America,” before he forcefully ripped the off head scarf from the woman’s head, according to the Department of Justice.

He pleaded guilty in federal court on Friday to using force in preventing the women from freely exercising her religious beliefs and now faces up to a year in prison along with a $100,000 fine.

Law enforcement officials said the incident, which occurred in the aftermath of the San Bernardino attacks, was one of many that involved Muslims being harassed.

Payne pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count during a hearing in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque and could face a maximum of one year in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.

However, prosecutors and Payne’s attorney’s will jointly recommend two months house arrest followed by an undetermined amount of probation time, according to court records.

U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez said that the case “sends a clear message to anyone who contemplates the use of threats or intimidation to interfere with the right of individuals, including members of our Muslim community, to express their faith without fear.”

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