LOCKPORT — Two women from Niagara Falls were sentenced to weekend jail terms Friday for their hate crime assault on a Pakistani woman last summer.
Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas ordered Sheree A. Sabater, 39, to four months of weekends in the County Jail and three years’ probation. Antoinette S. Ivey, 32, drew two months of weekends in jail and five years’ probation.
The 26-year-old Muslim victim, who was walking with her two children July 14 near the Tops Market on Portage Road in Niagara Falls, was wearing a head scarf at the time, police said.
“This woman and her two children were just minding their own business,” Farkas said. “These two drunk, high, out-of-control women, and I use that term loosely, pummeled her to the ground in front of her children.”
The victim said in a later Buffalo News interview that she heard one of the attackers say, “She’s Pakistani and I want to kill her.”
The nationality was just a lucky guess, Assistant District Attorney Cheryl L. Nichols said.
“I didn’t know who she was,” Ivey said in court.
Sabater said, “I feel foolish.”
The Niagara Falls Review – December 8, 2010
A Niagara Falls, Ontario Islamic Centre has formally requested police protection as they begin a 10-day religious observance less than a week after two of their members were allegedly attacked outside a doctor’s facility. Justin Nasser, a spokesman for the Almahdi Islamic Centre of Niagara, said centre officials made the request of police because they have concerns about the safety of their members following Friday’s incident.
Niagara Regional Police hasbannounced they had charged two men with assault with a weapon in connection with the incident, which occurred inside the centre’s gated parking lot. Police allege racial slurs were directed toward the victims throughout the attack. Other members of the centre came to the aid of the victims and held the suspects until police arrived.
The Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CAN), a national Muslim civil rights organization, issued a statement applauding the way police in Niagara are handling the case. Members of the Almahdi Islamic Centre of Niagara were expected to begin a series religious events marking Muharrum, the first month of the Islamic calendar.