By Eric Lieberman
Watch the Chicago Police Department press conference live below:
The four black perpetrators who live streamed their torturing of a mentally handicapped man in Chicago could face up to 30 years in prison if convicted of more than just a hate crime.
Hate crime charges were officially filed Thursday against Jordan Hill, Tesfaye Cooper, Brittany Covington, and Tanishia Covington.
The graphic video shows a white man tied up with tape across his mouth, being beaten and cut with a knife, amongst many other abusive acts.
At one point in the uploaded video, one of the assailants is heard shouting “Fuck Donald Trump, nigga! Fuck white people, boy! Fuck white people, boy!” while kicking the tied-up victim.
At a separate point in the video, the attackers scoff at a comment on the Facebook live stream that says they are being reported to the police.
There is also another video that appears to show the victim being forced to drink toilet water straight from the source.
Chicago police announced Wednesday that they had arrested the four people they believe were responsible for the crime, according to Fox32.
The maximum sentence for a hate crime in the state of Illinois is a $25,000 fine and 3 years in prison. The maximum sentence for kidnapping is $25,000 and 7 years in prison. (RELATED: Fmr NYPD Commissioner: Charge The ‘Savages’ Who Tortured White Man With A Hate Crime)
If the perpetrators are found guilty of a hate crime and kidnapping, and if the prosecutors were to successfully have these charges served consecutively (not concurrently) then they could serve up to 10 years in prison.
But since the man has a mental disability, then the alleged crime in question could be considered an aggravated kidnapping, which has a maximum punishment of a $25,000 fine and 30 years of prison.
The exact sentence also depends on if these offenses were the first for the classification of the crimes. Second offense punishments for hate crimes, kidnapping, and aggravated kidnapping are 3 to 7 years, 3 to 7 years, and life, respectively.
The sentencing length could be even further expanded on due to a number of other factors.
The assailants may be tried in a federal court as well as a state court.
Eugene Volokh, professor at the UCLA School of Law, told The Daily Caller News Foundation that federal sentencing guidelines generally call for a sentence to be increased by about 40 percent when a crime is considered a hate crime. (RELATED: Chicago Police Hesitant To Call Videotaped Torture Of White Man A Hate Crime)
“I’ve been a lawyer for 18 years, and there is no such thing as an ‘open and shut case,’” Steven Fagan, a criminal defense attorney in Chicago, told TheDCNF. “But authorities here have a lot of different options in prosecution beyond just a hate crime.”
“The Cook County State’s Attorney can, and will likely charge, Mob Action, Aggravated Battery, Aggravated Unlawful Restraint, and probably Aggravated Kidnapping assuming they have evidence the victim was taken from one location to another against his will, which seems likely,” Fagan continued.
He added that hate crime is also a probable charge, but that would most likely “be to satisfy the public outcry.”