Two Marines have been charged by the University of Maryland Police Department in a hate bias incident at a university dorm last year, officials said.

Hayden Pritchard, 22, and Sergio Delgado, 21, both from California, are charged in the incident with trespassing. Pritchard is also charged under a Maryland law that makes it a crime to deface a building because a person associated with it is a certain race.

Pritchard and Delgado are both lance corporals in the Marines, according to a statement from the United States Marine Corps.

The statement said the charges against the two “reflect conduct that is inconsistent with the exceedingly high standards the United States Marine Corps expects of its Marines.”

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“Should these charges be substantiated, Lance Cpl. Delgado and Lance Cpl. Pritchard will be held fully accountable for their actions,” the statement said.

On April 29, 2023, University of Maryland Police went to La Plata Hall, a dormitory on the University of Maryland, College Park, campus, after dorm staff “found racial slurs against the Black community inside the residence hall on the eighth floor,” according to a news release. Later in the day, police returned and found additional slurs on the eighth and ninth floors.

Both men enlisted in the Marines in January 2022, trained in San Diego and graduated from the School of Infantry - West, in October 2022, and reported to the Washington, D.C., Marine Barracks in December 2022, according to the Marine Corps.

Charges were issued for the two men on Feb. 8, according to online court records. The University of Maryland announced the charges Feb. 20. The incident is being jointly investigated by the University of Maryland Police Department and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.

Neither man has an attorney listed in online court records. Both have a court appearance scheduled for March 22.

Cody Boteler is a reporter on The Banner’s Express Desk, reporting on breaking news, trending stories and interesting things in and around Baltimore. His work has appeared in The Baltimore Sun, USA TODAY, Baltimore magazine and others.

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