Trial delayed again for Kettering man accused of assault on Muslim woman

The trial date has been pushed back again for an alleged attack on a Muslim woman in Kettering. Members of the Ohio chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Ohio) want the simple assault case designated as a hate crime. FILE

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The trial date has been pushed back again for an alleged attack on a Muslim woman in Kettering. Members of the Ohio chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Ohio) want the simple assault case designated as a hate crime. FILE

After several delays, a Kettering man accused of assaulting a Muslim woman in a Meijer store on Wilmington Pike was scheduled to be back in court 9 a.m. today for the start of his trial, but an extenuating circumstance has forced the trial to be pushed back again.

Albert Ross, 48, of Kettering has been charged with simple assault, a first-degree misdemeanor, for an incident at 2:45 p.m. on Feb. 23 in the Meijer store on Wilmington Pike. Ross allegedly physically and verbally attacked a 25-year-old Muslim woman, who is a Kettering resident, while his wife was with him. She was not charged.

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Ross has switched attorneys three times during the course of the legal process.

The latest attorney for Ross, Springfield-based Michael Cantanzaro, took over his defense in June, but died in late November and had handled the case without co-counsel.

According to court officials, the trial is now delayed, and there will be a hearing with the defendant to allow Ross to find another attorney.

Prior trial dates had been set for September and October, with the latest continuance granted then for the Dec. 18 date, according to court documents.

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Members of the Ohio chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Ohio) have advocated for the simple assault case to be designated as a hate crime.

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization.

Kettering officials issued a statement after the initial charge in the case, saying the city “condemns all acts of violence and intimidation, particularly those done because of the victim’s race, color, religion, sexual orientation, or national origin,” adding that the case has been properly charged.

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