Tennessee man admits hate crime in attack on Muslim girls

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Authorities say a Tennessee man who harassed two teenage Muslim girls and then swung a knife and attacked their father has pleaded guilty to a federal hate crime.

The Justice Department announced on Monday that 35-year-old Christopher Beckham of Nashville appeared in court last week to enter the plea. Beckham pleaded guilty to violating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.

Authorities say he admitted to confronting the two sisters wearing hijabs after they got off a school bus in 2017, and that he also swung a knife and punched at their father.

His sentencing has been set for October 7.

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