Two unnamed underage perpetrators face criminal charges in France for attacking a 15-year-old boy and 17-year-old girl on Sunday after the victims attended a Church service in Rambouillet, on the outskirts of Paris.
Police say the alleged perpetrators assaulted the two young people in front of the Sainte Bernadette Church in Rambouillet, promising to “kill” them and screaming “dirty Christians” as they punched them several times. The victims’ mother was still inside the church when the two teens were targeted.
According to CNews journalist Amaury Bucco, the perpetrators also yelled “dirty Whites,” during the assault.
The 15-year-old boy suffered the worst of the assault, with the perpetrators spraying him with pepper spray and hitting him repeatedly in the face. Although there were reportedly six individuals involved in the attack, only two have been taken into custody.
On Tuesday, the two suspects, aged 15 and 17, appeared in court in Versailles, according to French news outlet Le Figaro. They will face a sentencing hearing in juvenile court and could be placed under judicial supervision.
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The charges include “assault” and a hate crime charge for targeting people due to their faith, with a third charge over the use of pepper spray.
On Twitter, Bucco, the CNews journalist, speculated whether the attack was an act of revenge after a Muslim prayer tent was set on fire earlier in the week. The two victims, despite there being no evidence they had anything to do with the fire, may have been random reprisal targets.