RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) _ A South Dakota man accused of abusing American Indian children with racial slurs and spraying them with beer at a minor league hockey game is headed to trial.
The bench trial of 41-year-old Trace O’Connell on a disorderly conduct charge starts Wednesday in Rapid City.
The incident spurred protests in South Dakota’s second-largest city, with critics saying the charge is too lenient.
The judge moved the trial to a high school theater to accommodate an expected large crowd after officials from the children’s school said they planned to bring the students and their families to observe.
O’Connell has pleaded not guilty in the January incident.
The Oglala Sioux Tribe president has asked for a federal investigation into the reported harassment.