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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Mexico

Friday, November 8, 2013

Former Belen Police Department Detective Indicted for Using Excessive Force Against Arrestee

ALBUQUERQUE – A federal grand jury in Albuquerque, N.M., has returned a one-count indictment charging former Belen Police Department Detective John Lytle with unlawfully assaulting a victim identified in the indictment as “R.A.,” during an investigative stop and arrest on March 15, 2012. 

Lytle is charged with violating R.A.’s right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure by a law enforcement officer, which includes the right to be free from the use of excessive force.  The indictment alleges that Lytle unlawfully assaulted R.A. by striking R.A. while R.A. was in handcuffs.  The indictment also alleges that Lytle’s actions resulted in bodily injury to R.A.

Lytle faces a statutory maximum penalty of 10 years in prison for the civil rights violation.
An indictment is merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

This case is being investigated by the Albuquerque Division of the FBI.  It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of New Mexico Mark T. Baker and Trial Attorney Julia Gegenheimer of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice.

Updated January 26, 2015