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Man convicted of hate crime delivers public apology

CROFTON, Md. (AP) -- A man who pleaded guilty to committing a hate crime by hanging a noose outside a middle school has delivered a public apology, saying he didn't mean to scare or discriminate against anyone because of their race.

Nineteen-year-old Conner Prout stood before roughly 60 people at a meeting of the Caucus of African American Leaders on Tuesday and apologized for his role in a stunt that sent Crofton Middle School students running to the guidance counselor's office in tears, the Capital reports .

Prout's apology was part of a plea agreement in which the man was sentenced to 18 months of probation and 120 hours of community service, including working with civil rights organizations to learn the history of the noose.

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Information from: The Capital, http://www.capitalgazette.com/