WASHINGTON – A federal grand jury in Chicago returned an indictment today charging Deputy U.S. Marshal Stephen Linder, 36, with violations of federal criminal civil rights law related to two separate incidents in which Linder assaulted a handcuffed civilian.
The indictment charges Linder with a criminal civil rights violation for punching and choking a handcuffed man on July 8, 2010, and with obstructing justice for attempting to persuade another law enforcement officer to withhold evidence of the assault. Linder was also charged with a criminal civil rights violation for head-butting a handcuffed man on May 13, 2008, and with obstructing justice by persuading another law enforcement officer to withhold evidence of the assault.
Each of the civil rights counts carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. Each of the obstruction counts carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. Each count in the indictment also carries a maximum fine of $250,000.
An indictment is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.
This case is being investigated by the Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General and is being prosecuted by the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice.