United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced that a criminal
report has been filed in federal court in Pittsburgh charging Ryan Kyle with a hate crime based on the victim’s race. This is the first federal hate crime filed in Western Pennsylvania since the enactment of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009.
The one-count Information named Ryan Kyle, 22, formerly of Baldwin Borough, and presently incarcerated.
According to the Information filed with the court, on or about May 30, 2015, in the Western District of Pennsylvania, Ryan Kyle did willfully cause bodily injury to K.L. because of the actual and perceived race and color of K. L.
Evidence previously introduced in state court established that Kyle, who is white, assaulted Kevin Lockett, a then-53-year-old African-American man, at the Wood Street T Station in downtown Pittsburgh on May 30, 2015. The assault was captured on Port Authority video and occurred following a Kenny Chesney concert at Heinz Field.
U.S. Attorney Hickton stated, “The anticipated plea in this case ensures that Ryan Kyle is held fully accountable for a federal hate crime that carries a significant sentence, highlights the racial motivation for the offense, and demonstrates the federal government’s commitment to prosecuting racially-motivated crimes.”
United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch certified the filing of the charge in the public interest and necessary to secure substantial justice. By law, federal prosecutors must obtain a written certification by the Attorney General or his designee before a hate crime prosecution may be undertaken.
The law provides for a maximum total sentence of 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000 or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
Assistant United States Attorney Cindy K. Chung is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted the investigation leading to the filing of charges in this case.
A criminal Information is an accusation.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The filing of an Information generally indicates that the defendant intends to enter a guilty plea.