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Man Cleared In Alleged NY Hate Attack On Imam

NEW YORK (AP) -- A transportation police officer has been cleared of all charges after being accused of aiding a bias-fueled beating of a Muslim religious leader in a New York subway station.

Prosecutors dropped their case against Eddie Crespo this week after a grand jury declined to indict him on any charges in the December 8 incident.

Co-defendant Albert Melendez was indicted on a misdemeanor charge, but the specific charge hasn't been released.

Both were initially charged with assault and robbery as hate crimes. Prosecutors said Melendez slurred Muslims while attacking a man advocates identified as an imam. Crespo was accused of grabbing the imam to help Melendez.

Defense lawyers said religion played no role in the fight. Crespo's lawyer says Crespo tried to break it up.

(Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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