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Northwestern Students Charged With Hate Crime After "Trump" Chapel Vandalism

The two freshmen are accused of spray painting racist and anti-gay messages inside the campus chapel, as well as the word "Trump."

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Two Northwestern University freshmen are accused of spray painting racist and anti-gay messages, as well as the word "Trump," inside a campus chapel.

Anthony Morales, 19, and Matthew Kafker, 18, were arraigned Saturday on charges of institutional vandalism, hate crime to a place of worship, and criminal damage to property, the Chicago Tribune reported. A judge set bail at $50,000 each, after reprimanding the teens, according to the newspaper.

The vandalism took place Thursday night inside the non-denominational Alice Millar Chapel, where racist, anti-Semitic, anti-gay and other offensive graffiti was left on walls, offices, and an organ, the university said. Following the criminal charges, the students have been placed on interim suspension, which prohibits them from being on university property, a spokesperson told BuzzFeed News.

"Northwestern is committed to creating a safe, secure, and welcoming environment for all of our students, faculty, and staff," University President Morton Schapiro said in a statement following the incident. "This disgusting act of hatred violates the deepest values and core commitments of our University and is an affront to us all."

Campus police reviewed surveillance video, and the students were arrested on Friday. They were released from jail Saturday after making bond, the Cook County Sheriff's Office told BuzzFeed News.

According to the Tribune, the students are accused of spray painting penises, a swastika, and the word "Trump," as well as crossing out a photo of Muslim students.

Claudia Koerner is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.

Contact Claudia Koerner at claudia.koerner@buzzfeed.com.

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