3 Texas Men Sentenced to 3 Years in Prison for Attack on Bay Area Sikh Man

The Sikh Coalition released these images of Maan Singh Khalsa who was brutally beaten in Richmond on Sept. 25, 2016.

Two Texas men were sentenced Thursday to three years in prison for severely beating a Sikh man in Richmond, Calif., and cutting off some of his hair last year, officials said.

Chase Little, 31, of Beaumont, and Colton Leblanc, 25, of Winnie, pleaded no contest to felony assault and committing a hate crime against Maan Singh Khalsa during the Sept. 25 attack. The arrangement was part of a plea deal, according to Simon O’Connell of the Contra Costa County district attorney’s office.

O’Connell said the beating wasn’t just an attack. 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.”

“We want to think that crimes like this only occur elsewhere and ‘don’t happen in our community.’ They do,” O’Connell said. “Reducing the frequency of hate crimes starts with recognizing that we need to do a better job of embracing our differences.”

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