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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, April 24, 2009
Maryland Man Pleads Guilty to Using a Noose to Assault a Man at the Pentagon

William Michael King, a fifty-year-old truck driver from Maryland, pleaded guilty today to assault and violating the civil rights of an African American man he encountered while King delivered construction materials to the Pentagon.

King admitted that in October 2006, he made a noose and displayed it to the victim in an attempt to intimidate the victim. The victim, identified as "CS" in the charging documents, is a pipe fitter who also was working at the Pentagon in 2006. The United States also alleged that King placed the noose around the victim’s neck, and pulled the victim into a large, metal storage container. Sentencing is set for July 10, 2009.

"Every American has the right to a workplace free from racial intimidation and violence," said Loretta King, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. "The Justice Department is committed to ensuring that those who use racially motivated threats and violence in the workplace are prosecuted and brought to justice."

"A noose is a powerful symbol of hate and racially motivated violence," said Dana J. Boente, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. "As permitted by federal criminal law, we continue to aggressively prosecute those within our society who attack others because of the victim's race or color."

"The FBI has a zero tolerance policy against those who commit hate crimes or violate the civil rights of any citizen," said Joseph Persichini Jr., Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office. "And as occurred here, when the facts come out such acts are often perpetrated by cowards who prey upon the innocent and unsuspecting."

The investigation was led by special agents of the FBI Washington Field Office with assistance from the Pentagon Force Protection Agency. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan L. Fahey and Civil Rights Division Trial Attorney Michael J. Frank are prosecuting this case for the United States.

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