Ryan M. Held, aka Ryan M. Foley, 20, of Philipsburg, Penn., was indicted on March 27, 2012, by a federal grand jury on charges stemming from a cross burning he committed in August 2010. The indictment was unsealed today.
According to the indictment, on or about Aug. 20, 2010, Held burned the cross because a woman was associating with an African-American male within the residence. The two-count indictment charges Held with violating the housing rights of the two victims by burning the cross for the purpose of threatening and intimidating the victims in order to interfere with their rights to occupy a dwelling free from racial discrimination.
If convicted, Held faces a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison and a fine up to $250,000 on each count.
This case was investigated by the FBI and the Pennsylvania State Police and is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania and the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice.