A high school student is facing hate crime charges after an offensive listing on Craigslist caught the attention of community members.
“Slave for sale” read the headline for the online ad, which featured a photo of a black classmate, as well as a racial slur. The white male student — whose name has not been released because he is a juvenile — charged in the case allegedly took the picture of the victim while at school on Nov. 14, then posted the racist listing.
Both 14-year-old freshman students attend Illinois’ Naperville Central High School, which is located approximately 28 miles west of Chicago. The photo is believed to have been taken in the school cafeteria where the classmates sat at the same table, according to the Chicago Tribune.
The Craigslist ad has since been taken down
On Wednesday, Naperville police announced that the teen was charged with two counts of felony hate crime and one count of disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor. He appeared in DuPage County juvenile court that morning, with his next court date set for Dec. 18, 2019.
At the hearing earlier this week, the judge ordered that the two classmates avoid contact with each other, according to the Tribune, and the boy’s attorney, Harry Smith, said a formal apology in the presence of the school principal is expected to happen.
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“This was a despicable and extremely offensive post that is not at all reflective of the caring, welcoming community that our department serves and protects every day,” Robert Marshall, Naperville chief of police, said in a statement.
He added: “Every single person deserves the right to feel safe and welcome in our community, and this department will continue to strive to make that a reality by thoroughly investigating any allegations of hate crimes and bringing those found responsible to justice.”
DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert B. Berlin called the allegations “beyond disturbing.”
“Hate crimes have no place in our society and will not be tolerated in DuPage County,” he said in a statement. “Anyone, regardless of age, accused of such disgraceful actions will be charged accordingly.”
Naperville Central High School representatives did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
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