NEW YORK -- A man accused of pulling the beard of a Sikh professor during an attack last year in New York City has been charged with a hate crime.

Christian Morales was charged Saturday with aggravated harassment in the September attack of Columbia University professor Prabhjot Singh.

A phone number for Morales is out of service. It's unclear if he has an attorney.

Singh has said a group of young men called him "Osama" and a "terrorist" before one grabbed his beard and others beat him. He suffered a fractured jaw.

Hate crimes task force detectives had been investigating the case.

Sikhism is a religion that originated in India. In some cases, practitioners have been targeted by attackers who confuse it with Islam.