Texas

Man charged with hate crime for seizure-inducing tweet

Man charged with cyberstalking for sending a seizure-inducing image via Twitter

 

A Maryland man has been indicted in Texas on a hate-crime charge after a Twitter message induced a seizure in a Newsweek reporter.

A Dallas County grand jury on Tuesday indicted John Rayne Rivello of Salisbury, Maryland, on an aggravated assault charge enhanced as a hate crime. The 29-year-old already faces a federal interstate domestic violence charge.

Rivello is accused of sending a strobing image to reporter Kurt Eichenwald's Twitter account with the intention of causing a seizure. Eichenwald, who lives in the Dallas area, has epilepsy.

Included with the image was the message: "You deserve a seizure for your posts."

The image was apparently sent in response to Eichenwald's outspoken criticism of then-President-elect Donald Trump.

In a statement Tuesday, Rivello's attorneys said he is a military veteran with post-traumatic stress who apologized to Eichenwald and is seeking counseling.