Thursday, May 15, 2014

Hate Crimes: Salt Lake City - Two men charged in racially motivated assault of African-American man.

U.S. Department of Justice 
Office of Public Affairs

WASHINGTON—Jonathan Lynn Henery, 28, and Beau Edward Hansen, 30, both of Boise, Idaho, were indicted May 13, 2014, on federal hate crime charges for their racially motivated assault of an African-American man, the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson for the District of Idaho announced. An initial appearance date has not been set.

The indictment alleges that on or about October 20, 2013, both men willfully caused bodily injury to an African-American man based on the victim’s actual and perceived race and color.

The charge of hate crime based on race is a violation of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crime Prevention Act signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2009. A violation of that statute is punishable by up to 10 years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, and up to three years of supervised release.

The case was investigated by the FBI and the Boise City Police Department. The case is being jointly prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Idaho and the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

An indictment is a means of charging a person with criminal activity. The person is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.