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Ex-Boyfriend of ‘American Idol’ Star Skylar Laine Pleads Guilty to Hate Crime

Skylar Laine
Mark Davis, Getty Images

Skylar Laine‘s boyfriend during her time on ‘American Idol’ has pleaded guilty to a federal hate crime. Joseph Dominick, 21, was charged with targeting and injuring African Americans by throwing beer bottles and shooting metal ball bearings at them.

Dominick and Laine broke up before the reality competition ended, and the singer says she knew nothing of the charges. “I knew nothing about Joseph committing hate crimes,” she told the Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Miss. “I have never committed a hate crime, and I would encourage anyone with knowledge of a hate crime to come forward.”

Laine’s mother stressed that her daughter was not implicated of anything before sharing that the country-tinged ‘Idol’ singer is dating someone else now, while Dominick is married to another girl. The two were together for three years.

Dominick — who, like Laine, is from Brandon, Miss. — was part of a group that regularly traveled to Jackson, Miss. in 2011 and 2012 to harass African Americans. He is the sixth man to plead guilty in the case. His plea came nine months after three others pleaded guilty to charges that resulted in the hit-and-run death of James Craig Anderson. WJTV reports that Dominick was not present when Anderson was killed in June 2011, however. The Clarion-Ledger reports that he was asked to go on that trip, but declined.

Laine finished fifth during Season 11 of ‘American Idol,’ and was rumored to be moving to Nashville and to have inked a record deal. During a recent interview, she spoke optimistically about 2013 while sharing that she and her management company parted ways because they were unable to find a record deal after all.

“I’m just kind of doing my own thing right now, figuring out what I’m going to do,” the 18-year-old said. “I’m young, and I have a lot of options. If I want to go back to school, I’ll go back to school.”

In November, she debuted a new song called ‘Settle Down’ at Graceland. She told WREG that she is still working on her debut album, sharing, “It’s kinda going a little bit slower … but we’re working towards it.”

Next: Watch Skylar Laine Perform 'Tattoos on This Town' on 'Idol'

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