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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Department of Justice

Acting United States Attorney Gregg L. Sullivan Eastern District of Tennessee


KNOXVILLE, Tenn—Steven D. Archer, 50, Heiskell, Tenn, was convicted by a jury in federal court this afternoon on charges of willfully interfering with a couple's federal housing rights because of their race by burning a wooden cross, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3631(a), outside the residence in Anderson County that the victims were occupying. The cross-burning occured on July 23, 2008.

"Cross-burning is a despicable act of hatred and intolerance," said Acting United States Attorney Gregg L. Sullivan. "Americans of all races should be free to live where they choose, undisturbed by such deplorable conduct." The Federal Burea of Investigation and the United States Attorney's Office, in conjunction with the Civil Rights Division, United States Department of Justice, will aggresively investigate cross-burnings and all other hate crimes.

Archer faces a maximum term of imprisonment of ten (10) years and a $250,000 fine. United States District Court Judge Thomas Phillips set Archer's sentencing date for November 1, 2010.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Trey Hamilton.

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