News and Press Releases

Pennsylvania Man Sentenced For Cross Burning

September 8 , 2011

WASHINGTON - Kenneth Stiffey, Jr., of Robinson, Penn., was sentenced today in federal court to 18 months in prison and three years of supervised release on charges related to the burning of a cross in November 2009, the Justice Department announced today.

Senior Judge Alan N. Bloch imposed the sentence on Stiffey, 21, of Robinson, Indiana County, Pa.

According to information presented to the court, a cross burning occurred on Nov. 14, 2009, at a residence in Robinson that was home to a family with three minor children, one of whom is African-American.  The investigation revealed that Stiffey and his co-conspirators agreed to burn a cross in the backyard of the victim, used boards to construct a six-foot wooden cross and doused the cross in accelerant and gasoline prior to burning it.

"This case underscores our commitment to prosecute those who commit crimes driven by hatred or intolerance," stated U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania David J. Hickton.

The case was investigated by the FBI, together with the Pennsylvania State Police. Assistant United States Attorney Soo C. Song of the Western District of Pennsylvania and Trial Attorney Patricia A. Sumner from the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice prosecuted the case on behalf of the government.

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