- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 14, 2016

NEW YORK (AP) - A 59-year-old man charged with stabbing a caretaker at a mosque in Queens has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Bernhard Laufer was sentenced on Wednesday after being convicted of attempted murder as a hate crime and other hate charges in the 2012 attack at the Masjid Al-Saaliheen Mosque on Kissena Boulevard.

Prosecutors say Laufer had repeatedly called the mosque and threatened to kill all Muslims before stabbing the victim as he opened the mosque for morning prayer.

Laufer’s lawyer, Alexander Eisemann, said he planned to appeal, calling the sentence excessive. He said Laufer has a history of mental illness.

Laufer had previously been sentenced to six months house arrest and mental treatment for sending an email threatening to kill an employee of the Council on American Islamic Relations.

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