A federal judge in Wisconsin has ruled that a wrongful death lawsuit can be brought against budding Maga media influencer Kyle Rittenhouse. Mr Rittenhouse was tried for murder after he shot and killed two people during a racial justice protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin in 2020.
He was ultimately aquitted, but he may find himself back in court soon thanks to a federal judge’s ruling.
The father of Anthony Huber, one of the men killed, will be permitted to sue Mr Rittenhouse for wrongful death, the judge ruled. The lawsuit also names Kenosha police officers and city officials as defendants, according to the Associated Press.
Mr Huber’s lawyers and private investigators reportedly needed more than 100 hours to track down Mr Rittenhouse to serve him the lawsuit. They eventually found him living at his sister’s house.
Mr Rittenhouse’s attorneys attempted to have the case thrown out, claiming it was not properly served, but US District Judge Lynn Adelman dismissed that motion, saying the conservative media darling “is almost certainly evading service.”
“Rittenhouse has been deliberately cagey about his whereabouts,” she wrote. “Although he denies living in Florida, he does not identify the place that he deems to be his residence.”
John Huber alleges in the lawsuit that Mr Rittenhouse conspired with police the night of the protest to intentionally cause harm to the protesters.
The judge allowed the suit, saying in the ruling that Mr Huber’s death “could plausibly be regarded as having been proximately caused by the actions of the government defendants.”
“The Kenosha officials that created a powder keg situation by their actions tried to claim that they cannot be held accountable for their unconstitutional conduct; that argument was soundly rejected today,” Anand Swaminathan, Mr Huber’s attorney, said in a statement.
Mr Rittenhouse, then 17, travelled to Kenosha, Wisconsin on 25 August, 2020 with a rifle. He claimed he was there to assist police and defend property owners from protesters.
A conflict began between Mr Rittenhouse and protesters began, and resulted in the then-teen killing two protesters and wounding a third.