Five Sentenced In Attack On Sikh

Newsday

Newsday
Friday, December 23, 2005

The Associated Press

Five men who were convicted in the harassment and brutal beating last year of a Sikh man outside a Queens catering hall were sentenced yesterday to terms raging from two years in prison to five days in jail.

Trial evidence showed the men taunted Rajinder Singh Khalsa, 50, outside the Villa Russo Ristorante in Richmond Hill on July 11, 2004, calling Khalsa's turban, which is required by his religion, a "dirty curtain" and demanding that he take it off.

The men jumped Khalsa, punching his face repeatedly, breaking his nose and causing other injuries, according to trial testimony. He was treated at a nearby hospital.

The defendants were Salvatore Maceli, 26; his brother Nicholas Maceli, 22 and their stepfather Victor Cosentino, 58, all of Valley Stream; Terence Lyons, 53 of Elmont and Ryan Meehan, 24 of Forest Hills.

In December, after a nonjury trial in state Supreme Court in Kew Gardens, Justice Seymour Rotker found the Maceli brothers guilty of second-degree assault.

Salvatore Maceli was sentenced to two years in prison and Nicholas Maceli to six months in jail.

Rotker convicted Meehan and Lyons of second degree irritated harassment as a hate crime. The judge sentenced Meehan to 60 days in jail and Lyons to 20 days in jail. Rotker sentenced Cosentino, convicted of second degree assault as a hate crime. They had faced up to 15 years in prison if convicted of that charge.

Victor Cosentino, Mr. Greenberg's client, was the only Defendant acquitted of all criminal charges in this five-defendant case.

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