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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Utah

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, September 15, 2017

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

SALT LAKE CITY – A federal grand jury in Salt Lake City returned an indictment charging Mark Porter, age 58, a former resident of Draper, Utah, with 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.  The indictment, returned by the grand jury Wednesday, was unsealed Friday morning.

Announcing the charges Friday are 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 7-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. He was arrested on the charge in Arizona and will have an appearance in federal court in Arizona.

The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Salt Lake City Field Office. 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 are prosecuting the case.

Topic(s): 
Civil Rights
Hate Crimes
Component(s): 
Updated September 15, 2017