Assault Charge Filed After Tweet Sent To Journalist With Epilepsy

By Ralph Ellis and Madison Park

PHILADELPHIA (CNN) –– A further cost has been filed towards a Maryland man accused of tweeting an animated strobe picture to a journalist with epilepsy, prosecutors in Texas stated Monday.

John Rayne Rivello, 29, was charged with aggravated assault with a lethal weapon, stated Brittany Dunn with the Dallas County District Lawyer’s Workplace.

A grand jury referral stated Rivello despatched the tweet figuring out journalist Kurt Eichenwald was “prone to seizures and that such animations are able to inflicting seizures.” The doc stated Rivello used “a lethal weapon, to wit: a tweet and a graphics interchange format (GIF) and an digital gadget and arms in the course of the fee of the assault.”

Prosecutors stated Eichenwald was chosen as a result of Rivello had a bias towards individuals of Jewish descent.

Eichenwald’s lawyer, Timothy Perkins, informed CNN: “We contemplate the message like a bomb or sending anthrax to somebody within the mail.”

Federal authorities beforehand charged Rivello with cyberstalking.

CNN was unable Friday or Monday to succeed in Rivello or his attorneys.

The flashing picture was despatched to Eichenwald, a Newsweek senior author and Vainness Truthful contributing editor, on December 15 and got here with the message: “You deserve a seizure in your submit,” in line with the federal legal grievance. Eichenwald stated the picture triggered a seizure and he then sought to determine the one that despatched it.

“After a three month investigation, the FBI this morning arrested the person who assaulted me utilizing a strobe on twitter that triggered a seizure,” Eichenwald tweeted final Friday.

The FBI and police in Maryland and Dallas, the place Eichenwald resides, investigated the case and arrested Rivello.

Rivello, who’s from Salisbury, Maryland, was initially charged with cyberstalking and appeared in federal courtroom Friday.

The Twitter account belonging to Rivello allegedly contained direct messages despatched to different customers relating to Eichenwald with statements like, “I hope this sends him right into a seizure,” “Spammed this at (sufferer) let’s see if he dies,” and “I do know he has epilepsy,” in accordance with the allegations in an affidavit that was unsealed Friday.

Investigators additionally discovered display photographs from an epilepsy web site with an inventory of generally reported epilepsy seizure triggers and a narrative from a Dallas information website about Eichenwald’s efforts to subpoena Twitter to trace down the consumer who despatched him the picture, based on the


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