RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ A Virginia man has been indicted in federal court on a hate crimes charge stemming from an alleged attack on a person over their sexual orientation.

Federal prosecutors announced the charge Tuesday against 34-year-old James William Hill III of Chester.

According to a news release from the U.S. Justice Department, Hill is accused of punching the victim last May and causing bodily injury.

Hill was charged under the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which makes it illegal to physically harm someone based on their race, religion, national origin, gender or sexual orientation.

The charge carries a maximum penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine upon conviction.

It wasn't immediately known whether Hill has an attorney to comment on the charge.


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