14-year-old boy faces hate crime charges, accused of advertising 'slave for sale' in Illinois

A 14-year-old boy is facing hate crime charges after authorities said he photographed a black classmate and used his image in a Craigslist post advertising a "slave for sale" in Illinois.

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The Naperville Central High School student, who is white, appeared in court Wednesday with his parents after he was charged with two counts of committing a hate crime and one count of disorderly conduct, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The boy allegedly photographed a 14-year-old classmate Nov. 14 in a school lunchroom before using the image on a Craigslist ad titled "Slave for sale (Naperville)," Assistant State's Attorney Lee Roupas said in court, according to the Tribune. Roupas said other offensive language was also contained in the Craigslist post.

The advertisement has since been taken down, the Tribune reported.

Authorities said they were made aware of the incident on Monday.

"The allegations against the juvenile in this case are beyond disturbing," DuPage County State's Attorney Robert Berlin said Wednesday in a statement. "Hate crimes have no place in our society and will not be tolerated in DuPage County. Anyone, regardless of age, accused of such disgraceful actions will be charged accordingly."

Officials with Naperville School District 203 told WLS-TV that the boy has since been placed on an in-school suspension. He and the victim were teammates on the school's wrestling team, according to the news station.

The boy's attorney, Harry Smith, described his client and the victim as friends, though the victim's mother told WGN-TV that was no longer the case.

"They used to be friends. They are not anymore," she said, according to WGN-TV. "He started teasing my son, calling him dumb, making fun of his skin color, saying 'shut up slave' last October. … They are not friends anymore."

The boy charged in the case, whose name was not released, is scheduled to next appear in court on Dec. 18.

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