WASHINGTON, DC—The Department of Justice today announced 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.
“Attacks such as this one, based on prejudice and racial hate, are contrary to who we are and violate the law,” said U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. “Protecting the civil rights of all the members of our community is a top priority for our office.”
Jamie 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 upon the victim’s actual and perceived race, color and national origin, which included Middle Eastern and Arab descent. The defendant was arrested at the scene of the attack after a witness called 911.
Larson will appear in U.S. District Court in Seattle at 1:30 today.
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 matter is being investigated by the Seattle Division of the FBI. The case is being prosecuted by 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.
An indictment is merely an accusation, and the subject is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.