WASHINGTON, -- The Justice Department announced that Bruce Mikulyuk, of Mishawaka, Ind., has been indicted by a federal grand jury for charges stemming from a cross burning in September 2007. Mikulyuk made his first court appearance today in South Bend, Ind. A trial has been scheduled for Nov. 3, 2009.
Mikulyuk was charged with one count of interfering with the housing rights of another and one count of using fire in the commission of a felony. According to the indictment, Mikulyuk burned a cross at the home of an African American man and white woman and returned later with a knife and made threats.
The charges set forth in an indictment are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty. If convicted, he faces a maximum punishment of 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.
FBI Special Agents Rick Miller and Arthur Grist investigated this case. The case will be prosecuted by Trial Attorney Betsy Biffl from the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department.