Man Convicted in Times Square Attack Receives Sentence
In a tense and emotional day at a Manhattan courthouse, supporters of a Palestinian-American man convicted of a hate crime for beating a Jewish man were ejected from the courtroom after shouting at the judge during his sentencing.
Mahmoud Musa was one of a group of men who brutally attacked Joseph Borgen, a Jewish man, in Times Square last year. The attack, which was caught on video, showed the assailants kicking, punching, and pepper-spraying Borgen as they hurled antisemitic slurs at him. The incident sparked outrage and calls for justice across the city.
During his victim impact statement, Borgen described the attack as a terrifying and life-threatening experience. He suffered a concussion and needed a neck brace as a result of the assault. “If the cops did not come, if they did not save my life, I would have died,” Borgen said.
Antisemitic attacker shouts ‘Free Palestine’ as family slams ‘racist’ judge during wild NYC sentencing hearing
One of the attackers convicted in the beating of a Jewish man in Times Square in 2021.
— Nakba (@VictorNakba) November 22, 2023
As Musa’s sentencing hearing began on Tuesday, a large group of Borgen’s supporters sat quietly in the courtroom, wearing hats and T-shirts demanding justice and denouncing antisemitism. However, about 30 minutes into the hearing, a group of Musa’s supporters arrived. They were vocal and confrontational, demanding leniency for Musa and shouting insults at Judge Felicia Mennin.
The judge ultimately sentenced Musa to seven years in prison, which is less than half of the maximum punishment of 15 years. The prosecution had asked for a six-year sentence, while the defense had requested the minimum of three and a half years. The decision to give Musa a slightly longer sentence than what the prosecution asked for was met with outrage and calls of “unfair” from Musa’s supporters. According to reports, they also called the judge a “racist.”
The chaos and disruption in the courtroom caused the judge to clear the building and remove Musa’s supporters. It took another 20 minutes before Borgen’s supporters and members of the media were allowed back inside.
WATCH Joey Borgen react to Mahmoud Musa receiving 7 years in prison for his antisemitic attack on Borgen in NYC. pic.twitter.com/2hlNQMGGP6
— Canary Mission (@canarymission) November 23, 2023
Outside the courthouse, Borgen expressed relief that the sentencing was finally over, and justice had been served. He said he was happy with the seven-year sentence and believed it sent a clear message that hate crimes would not be tolerated in New York City. However, he also expressed concerns about the ongoing protests and the recent outbreak of violence between Israel and Hamas, a Palestinian terror group.
This incident serves as a reminder of the ongoing issue of hate crimes and antisemitism in our society. It is a tragic and disturbing reminder of the fear and danger that members of the Jewish community continue to face. The severity of the attack and the emotional response from both sides demonstrate the deep divisions and tensions in our society. It is crucial for authorities and community leaders to address the underlying issues and work towards creating a safer and more inclusive society for everyone.