Man Accused of Murder of Muslim Girl Not Charged for Hate Crime

Man Accused of Murder of Muslim Girl Not Charged for Hate Crime

A Virginia man has been charged with murder after police said he assaulted and killed a Muslim teenage girl near a mosque.

The girl and her friends were dressed in abayas, the robe-like dress worn by some Muslim women, according to the Washington Post.

Nabra Hassanen was walking home from a McDonald's with a group of friends after having attended night prayers at a local mosque in Sterling, Virginia, when police say they got into a dispute with a man driving a auto, prompting the group to flee.

Torres is facing a murder charge in the death of 17-year-old Nabra Hassanen, who was attacked on Dranesville Road in Herndon early Sunday morning. Torres has been charged with her murder.

The lack of a hate crime investigation provoked deep skepticism among some American Muslims. Her body was found Sunday evening in Loudoun County.

But when the vehicle hopped the curb, they perceived hostile intent and began to run. Immigration authorities put a detainer on him, saying he's a citizen of El Salvador and there's probable cause to believe he lacks permission to be in the U.S. Why would you kill a kid?

Police reports say Hassanen was with a group of friends walking and riding bikes toward the ADAMS community center, who scattered when Torres attacked, but witnesses suggested that Hassanen, who did not usually wear traditional Muslim clothing might have tripped on her abaya, a long, loose garment usually work over other clothes.

Police have said that the slaying is not being investigated as a hate crime at this point, but Fairfax County Police Spokesman Don Gotthardt stresses that the investigation is in the early stages and things could change.

The All Dulles Area Muslim Society (Adams) mosque in Sterling, the biggest in northern Virginia, holds extra late-night prayers during the last 10 days of Ramadan. He caught up to them in a nearby parking lot, where he reportedly brandished a metal bat, chasing them on foot. The man got out of the vehicle and allegedly assaulted the girl.

A search for the teen ensued and police found Hassanen's body in a Sterling pond Sunday afternoon, police announced. An autopsy was being conducted on a body pulled from a pond in Loudon County that detectives believe to be that of the 17-year-old Reston girl who disappeared on Sunday, police said. He was appointed a public defender, and his next court appearance was set for July 19.

According to The Washington Post, Hassanen was walking away from an IHOP after leaving the mosque with a group of four or five friends when they got into some sort of verbal altercation with a man driving by.

Police have said that there is no evidence that the incident was a hate crime and cited road rage as a factor.

Although police said there was no indication religious hatred was the motive for the crime, Mahmoud Hassanen wondered why the children, wearing traditional Muslim attire, were targeted.

A hate crime in Virginia is defined in part as a crime directed against a person because of the person's race, religion or national origin.