Man gets probation for grabbing woman's headscarf on flight

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) " A North Carolina man who acknowledged grabbing and pulling off a Muslim woman's hijab on a flight from Chicago to Albuquerque, New Mexico, has been sentenced to a year of probation that includes two months of home confinement.

Federal prosecutors say 37-year-old Gill Parker Payne of Gastonia also was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine.

Payne pleaded guilty in May to a misdemeanor charge of obstructing a person's free exercise of religious beliefs in connection with the Dec. 11 incident on a Southwest Airlines flight.

In his plea agreement, Payne said he grabbed and removed Khawla Abdel-Haq's hijab, a religious headscarf, midflight. He was seated several rows behind her and did not know her.

Abdel-Haq told Judge Steven Yarbrough that she was afraid to leave her home for three weeks.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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