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posted: 2/28/2013 9:18 AM

Man in noose attack made to write lynching essay

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Associated Press

An Alsip man who helped put a noose around the neck of an African-American teenager has been sentenced to probation and ordered to write an essay on the history of lynching in the United States.

A Cook County judge also ordered 19-year-old Matthew Herrmann to read his paper to the victim of the attack and other community members at an event known as a "peace circle."

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The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Herrmann was initially charged with felony counts of committing a hate crime, unlawful restraint and battery. But under a deal with prosecutors, he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor battery.

Prosecutors say Herrmann and two other white accomplices attacked 17-year-old Joshua Merritt in 2011, putting the noose around him and threatening him with a knife.

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