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Boy pleads guilty in Hannah Beardsley Middle School attack

14-year-old admits guilt; hate crime charges dropped

Published: Tuesday, April 29, 2014 8:25 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, April 30, 2014 6:47 a.m. CDT

CRYSTAL LAKE – A 14-year-old boy won't face hate crime charges for attacking a classmate at a Crystal Lake middle school in February, under a plea deal a McHenry County judge accepted Tuesday.

The boy instead pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated battery and apologized to the victim's family inside a juvenile courtroom Tuesday as part of the deal.

The boy attacked eighth-grader Omid Babakhani inside a hallway at Hannah Beardsley Middle School in February after he said "Hey Persian" in Babakhani's direction and then made a derogatory comment about his mother, according to Babakhani at the time.

He said the other student put him in a headlock and slammed him to the ground before punching him. Babakhani said in February that he occasionally received offensive comments before but never had been physically attacked.

Babakhani suffered two fractured clavicles. He still has plates in each shoulder and 12 total screws holding his clavicle bones together after having surgery in February, Omid's father, Ben Babakhani, said Tuesday.

In court Tuesday, the boy apologized for hurting Omid Babakhani and making the derogatory comment about his mother, Ben Babakhani said.

"In a crime like this, there is no justice," Ben Babakhani said. "It has stopped my son in his tracks. We just want to move on."

Omid Babakhani had been on the Sage YMCA Piranhas swim team, but he is yet to return to the pool since the incident. He returned to school in early March, Ben Babakhani said.

The 14-year-old boy returns to court in June for sentencing.

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