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Press Release

Two Former Shenandoah, Pennsylvania, Police Officers Convicted of Falsifying Information About Hate Crime

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

WASHINGTON - A federal jury in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., has convicted Matthew Nestor and William Moyer of falsifying information related to the investigation into the beating death of Luis Ramirez. Mr. Ramirez died on July 12, 2008, as a result of injuries he suffered after being attacked by Derrick Donchak and Brandon Piekarsky, two high school students from Shenandoah, Pa., who were convicted of a federal hate crime in October 2010 and await sentencing.

Nestor, the former chief of police in Shenandoah, Pa., was convicted of filing a false report regarding the incident. Evidence presented at trial established that a report to the Schuylkill County District Attorney’s Office filed by Nestor, contained materially false information intended to mislead the investigation. Nestor will face up to 20 years in prison.

William Moyer, a former lieutenant in the Shenandoah Police Department, was convicted of making false statements to FBI agents in reference to his involvement in the investigation of the Ramirez homicide. The jury found that Moyer deliberately relayed false information about what a witness told him on the scene. Moyer will face up to five years in prison.

"A community must be able to rely on its law enforcement officers to be honest and truthful," said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. "When they fail in this most fundamental duty, they must be held accountable. Today’s verdict does just that."

The jury acquitted former Shenandoah Police Officer Jason Hayes of all charges relating to allegations that he obstructed justice and falsified reports.

Today’s conviction resulted from the investigative work of the FBI. The case was prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Myesha Braden and Shan Patel from the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, with assistance from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

Updated August 25, 2015

Press Release Number: 11-116