Five Iowa Juveniles Face Hate Crime Charges After Using Racial Slurs at Sleepover

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Five juveniles face hate crime and assault charges after they allegedly used racial slurs against another child at a sleepover, Clive police said.

The juveniles, ages 12 and 13, were at a sleepover on Friday when they allegedly threw footballs and other objects at on child while using racial slurs, the Des Moines Register reported.

The Polk County Attorney’s Office determined that harassment and simple assault charges were appropriate, Clive Police Lt. Mark Rehberg said.

He said because racial slurs were allegedly used, the assault charges were upgraded to hate crime charges.

The identities of the children were not released because juvenile court records are not public in Iowa.

“Bullying of any kind is not acceptable,” Rehberg said. “We want to prevent that as much as we can before it develops into something more severe.”