Friday, August 27, 2010

Three Pennsylvania Men Indicted for Cross Burning

WASHINGTON – Michael Bealonis and Kenneth Stiffey, Jr., of Robinson, Penn., and Michael Bracken, of Bolivar, Penn., were indicted this week by a federal grand jury on charges stemming from a cross burning in the yard of an African-American juvenile in November 2009.

In the three-count indictment, Bealonis, Stiffey and Bracken were charged with one count of conspiracy to interfere with the housing rights of another, one count of interfering with the housing rights of another, and one count of using fire in the commission of a felony.

If convicted, Bealonis, Stiffey and Bracken face a maximum punishment of 30 years in prison and a $750,000 fine.

The case was investigated by the FBI, together with the Pennsylvania State Police. The case will be prosecuted by Trial Attorney Patricia A. Sumner from the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and Assistant U.S. Attorney Soo C. Song from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

The charges set forth in an indictment are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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