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Justice News

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Ohio Man Indicted for Hate Crime Assault

The Department of Justice today announced that an Ohio man has been indicted by a federal grand jury in the Southern District of Ohio on a charge of violating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. 

According to the indictment, on or about Feb. 4, 2017, outside of a restaurant located in Cincinnati, Ohio, Izmir Koch, 32, willfully caused bodily injury to a person because of that person’s perceived religion. The indictment alleges that Koch hit and kicked an individual (Victim-1), after Victim-1 represented that he was Jewish. Victim-1 is alleged to have suffered bodily injury as a result of the assault, including a fractured orbital floor.  

If convicted, Koch faces a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. An indictment is merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty. 

This case is being investigated by the Cincinnati Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Megan Gaffney of the Southern District of Ohio and Trial Attorney Gabriel Davis of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice.

Press Release Number: 
Updated March 21, 2018