White nationalist leader faces battery charges in Indiana

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PAOLI, Ind. (AP) — A white nationalist arrested for physically harassing a woman protesting at a 2016 Donald Trump rally is accused of attacking his wife and her stepfather in southern Indiana.

Matthew Heimbach, 26, was charged Tuesday with battery and domestic battery committed in the presence of a child under age 16. He was released from jail after posting bond.

Heimbach is chairman of the Traditionalist Worker Party, which has described itself on its website as "fighting to secure the existence of our people and a future for white children."

Court documents allege Heimbach assaulted his wife's stepfather, David Matthew Parrott, at the property where Heimbach lives with his family and other group members in Paoli, about 40 miles (65 kilometers) south of Bloomington.

The men had argued over Heimbach's alleged affair with Parrott's wife before Heimbach choked Parrott twice into unconsciousness, according to court documents. After Parrott regained consciousness the second time, he fled the scene and called 911 early Tuesday.

An officer called to Heimbach's home arrested Heimbach after hearing him arguing and scuffling with his wife, who was inside with him and their two children. Brooke Heimbach, who was crying and had a reddened face, told the officer Heimbach had assaulted her, a police report states.

A message seeking comment was sent Wednesday to Heimbach's cellphone.

Heimbach has for several years been a leading figure in the white nationalist movement. He was one of the scheduled speakers at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where a car plowed into a crowd last August, killing a counter protester.

During a March 2016 rally in Louisville, Kentucky, for then-presidential candidate Trump, Heimbach physically harassed an African-American woman who was protesting at that rally.

A Kentucky judge ordered Heimbach last July to attend anger management classes and gave him a suspended jail sentence on the condition he not re-offend within two years. Heimbach had entered an Alford plea, which enables him to maintain innocence while acknowledging there's sufficient evidence for a jury to convict him of second-degree disorderly conduct.

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