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Ex-Northwestern Students Face 12 Hate Crime Charges Each For Campus Chapel Vandalism

By Mae Rice in News on May 4, 2016 6:20PM

Anthony Morales, 19 (left) and Matthew Kafker, 18, defaced a Northwestern chapel Friday (photo via the Cook County sheriff's office)

Two men have been charged with 20 felonies each—including 12 felony counts apiece of committing a hate crime at a place of worship—for sneaking into a Northwestern chapel in March and spray painting it with racial slurs, "Trump" and a lot of penises, the Tribune reports.

On March 11, the night of the incident, Anthony Morales, 19, and Matthew Kafker, 18, were freshmen at the university, but they are "no longer enrolled at Northwestern," a Northwestern spokesperson told Chicagoist.

The two were first charged when they were arrested in March, but a grand jury has since convened and handed down additional charges. Current charges, along with the hate crime charges noted above, include four counts each of institutional vandalism and burglary, three counts each of criminal damage and one count of criminal defacement, all of them felonies, the State's Attorney's Office told the Tribune.

The two ex-students will be arraigned on Thursday morning in Skokie, the Cook County State's Attorney's Office said.

The most serious charges are the burglary and institutional vandalism ones—each count is punishable by up to seven years in prison, according to the Tribune.

Back in March, the two men were charged with criminal damage to property, institutional vandalism and hate crime in a place of worship for defacing Northwestern's non-denominational Alice Millar Chapel. The defendants were caught on surveillance camera entering the chapel on the night it was defaced, and have since submitted written and videotaped confessions, according to the Tribune.