Woman hit for not speaking English forgives attacker



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ANOKA, Minn. (AP) — A Muslim woman who was struck with a beer mug for not speaking English in a Minnesota restaurant says she has forgiven her attacker.

Asma Jama spoke at 44-year-old Jodie Burchard-Risch's sentencing in Anoka County Tuesday. Jama told Burchard-Risch she has no "ill feelings" toward her, and that she wants her attacker to understand "we are all the same."

Burchard-Risch was at an Applebee's in Coon Rapids last year when she smashed her glass mug in Jama's face, causing significant injuries. She became upset before the attack because Jama was speaking Swahili with her family.

Burchard-Risch pleaded guilty to third-degree assault. Under a plea deal, she was sentenced to 180 days in jail with work release followed by five years probation.

KARE-TV (http://kare11.tv/2hUGsfa ) reports Burchard-Risch did not speak in court.

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Information from: KARE-TV, http://www.kare11.com

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