Skip to main content
Press Release

Man Charged with Hate Crime for Using Stun Cane During Racially-Motivated Assault of Neighbor in Utah

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

A federal grand jury in Salt Lake City, Utah returned an indictment charging Mark Porter with violating 42 U.S.C. § 3631 by using force and the threat of force to injure, intimidate, and interfere with an African-American man because of his race after moving in nearby, announced John Gore, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division; John W. Huber, United States Attorney for the District of Utah; and Eric Barnhart, Special Agent in Charge for the Salt Lake City Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.


The indictment alleges that Mark Porter shouted racial slurs at the victim and his seven-year-old son, and then struck the victim with a stun cane. The indictment further alleges that the stun cane is a dangerous weapon, and that the victim suffered bodily injury.


An indictment is merely an allegation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted on the civil rights charge, Porter faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.


The case is being investigated by the Salt Lake City Field Office of the FBI. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Drew Yeates of the United States Attorney’s Office and Trial Attorney Rose E. Gibson of the Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Section.

Updated September 15, 2017

Hate Crimes
Press Release Number: 17-1012