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Woman Who Used N-Word In Viral Margarita Fest Video Charged With Hate Crime

By Erica Demarest | October 17, 2016 6:02am
 Jessica Sanders, 26, is charged with a hate crime.
Jessica Sanders, 26, is charged with a hate crime.
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Facebook; Chicago Police Department

COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — The woman who called a suburban couple "n------" in a video that went viral this summer has been charged with a hate crime.

The video was recorded at the Margarita Fest, held July 30 at the South Shore Cultural Center.

Jessica Sanders, 26, of southwest suburban Alsip, was arrested on a warrant last week and charged with a hate crime and battery.

On Friday, a Cook County judge set her bail at $50,000.

RELATED: Teacher Targeted In Racist Tirade At Margarita Festival 'Distraught'

According to prosecutors, Sanders accosted a suburban couple, repeatedly calling them "n------," after a July 30 argument over a bean bag game at Margarita Fest, an event hosted at the South Shore Cultural Center, 7059 S. Shore Drive.

The couple — Ernest Crim and his wife, who are African-American suburban high school teachers — hoped to play a round of bags but could only find one bean bag, Assistant State's Attorney Erin Antonietti said during a bond hearing.

At one point, Sanders, who was playing nearby, threw a bean bag and never collected it, prosecutors said. So Crim's wife went to retrieve it.

That's when Sanders, who is white, began calling the woman a "n-----" repeatedly. Crim took out his phone to record Sanders, but she knocked it to the ground, Antonietti said.

Crim was still able to record Sanders telling him he was "acting like a n-----."

That video went viral this summer.

In an interview with DNAinfo, Crim said that he was shocked by the racist tirade, and his wife was so stressed that she broke down crying.

"What [Sanders] did is just a symptom of something that society, this country, is producing. She's just outward with it. Before this even happened, this has been a rough summer being a black person," Crim said.

RELATED: Margarita Fest Had More Problems Than Racist Viral Video, Attendees Say

Though a Margarita Fest security officer eventually intervened, Sanders was not arrested at the scene, prosecutors said. She was picked up on a warrant Wednesday afternoon.

According to prosecutors, Sanders is on supervision for a disorderly conduct conviction in which she used racial slurs with a police officer.

According to her public defender, Sanders works as a waitress. She appeared in court Friday wearing a bright blue Cubs jacket.

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