Seattle man indicted of federal hate crime

The Department of Justice announced April 2 that a federal grand jury sitting in Seattle has indicted Jamie Larson, 49, on a federal hate crime charge relating to a racially-motivated assault of a 50-year-old Sikh man.

Larson has been charged with one count of violating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act that was enacted in October 2009. The indictment alleges that on Oct. 17, 2012, the subject assaulted the victim based on the victim’s actual and perceived race, color, and national origin, which includes Middle Eastern and Arab descent. The defendant was arrested at the scene of the attack after a witness called 911.

The charge carries a statutory maximum of 10 years in prison.

The Shepard-Byrd law criminalizes acts of physical violence, causing bodily injury motivated by any person’s actual or perceived race, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or disability.

The Seattle Division of the FBI is investigating the matter. Assistant U.S. Attorney Bruce F. Miyake of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington and Trial Attorney Nicholas Durham of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division are prosecuting the case.

An indictment is merely an accusation, and the subject is presumed innocent unless proven guilty. (end)

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