The June 28 indictment charges Hannig with aiding and abetting the attack on Houck, and causing serious bodily harm to the victim.
Hannig was at the detention center last November while awaiting sentencing for a supervised-release violation when the alleged assault on Houck took place.
In February 2004, Hannig was sentenced to 120 months in federal prison for to a bank-robbery conviction.
He entered a supervised-release program in July 2011, but was remanded back into custody four months later after drugs were detected in his urine.
Also while on supervised release, Hannig failed to make any monthly payments on a $21,639 restitution order, according to court records.
On Nov. 17, U.S. District Judge Legrome D. Davis sentenced Hannig to an additional 10 months of incarceration for those violations.
Hannig, 34, was scheduled to be released in August to a halfway house.
But now, he faces up to 10 years in federal lock-up for his alleged role in Houck’s assault.
On Nov. 10, Houck was reading a gay novel inside his cell at the detention center when two males entered, pulled him by his legs from the top bunk bed, then stomped on him and beat him with a chair, Houck told PGN.
The tibia and fibula bones in Houck’s right leg were fractured during the assault, requiring the installation of a metal rod from ankle to knee for stabilization.
In Houck’s opinion, he was the victim of an anti-LGBT hate crime.
“I want all involved punished for the hate crime — to give them a reason to not let their homophobic aggression be taken out on anyone else ever again,” Houck said in a prior interview.
The federal Matthew Shepard Act of 2009 extends hate-crimes protections to victims targeted due to their LGBT status, if the crime takes place on federal property.
Houck said his assailants referred to him as a “chomo,” which is prison slang for a child molester.
They also referred to him as a “faggot,” “homo” and “pussy,” he said.
Houck said he fell about 5 feet onto a cement floor before his alleged assailants beat him.
“When they pulled me out of my bunk, I landed on the cement floor,” Houck said. “It was about a 5-foot drop. Then they stomped on me, kicked me and beat me with a chair.”
Houck was transported by ambulance to Jefferson University Hospital, where he spent 18 days in a critical-care unit during the initial phase of his recovery.
Houck picked out his alleged assailants in a photo display shown to him by prison officials, but he couldn’t identify them by name.
Michele Rajsic, a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, had no comment on whether Houck’s other alleged assailant would be indicted.
Houck is currently incarcerated at the Federal Medical Center in Butner, N.C.
He continues to walk with crutches, and has a festering wound on his injured leg. He faces a series of surgeries in an effort to prevent amputation of the leg, he said in a letter to PGN.
Houck also expressed remorse for his own crime — which involved downloading child porn, then sharing it with an undercover federal agent through a computer file-sharing network.
At the time of his assault, Houck was awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to one count of transporting child pornography.
Houck’s criminal activity took place between November 2010 and February 2011, according to court records.
In February, U.S. District Judge Gregory M. Sleet sentenced Houck to 97 months in prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release.
Houck’s projected release date is March 3, 2018, if he doesn’t commit any infractions while in custody.
David Cooper, an advocate for Houck, expressed gratitude that an indictment was handed down, noting that it helps promote respect for the law.
But Cooper questioned why Hannig wasn’t indicted for a hate crime, and why Houck’s other alleged assailant wasn’t indicted.
“Kenny was minding his own business when he was brutally assaulted by two inmates,” Cooper told PGN. “From my interpretation of the incident, that was a hate crime because they [allegedly] hurled antigay epithets at him. A hate crime took place at a federal detention center, and I’m disappointed it wasn’t treated as such.”
Rajsic, the spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, had no comment on why Hannig wasn’t indicted for a hate crime.
Cooper said Houck’s family and friends were kept in suspense for seven months, wondering whether any indictment would be handed down.
“The silence of the U.S. Attorney’s Office was deafening for seven months,” Cooper said “But the system apparently was working behind the scenes — an indictment was produced by the grand jury. And for that, I’m grateful.”
He said Hannig should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
“If he’s found to be guilty, there shouldn’t be a reduction of the sentence due to plea bargaining,” Cooper said. “As far as I’m concerned, Hannig already got a break by not being charged with a hate crime.”
Concerning Houck’s other alleged assailant, Cooper said: “I’m hoping he’ll be indicted as well. If he isn’t, there should be some type of an explanation [from the U.S. Attorney’s Office], in a timely manner.”
Houck, 37, said he’s looking forward to participating in treatment programs for inmates addicted to drugs and pornography while serving his time at Butner.
“I know I need help,” he said.
He said the abrupt ending of an eight-year relationship sent him into a downward spiral of pornography and drug addiction, culminating in his arrest.
Cooper expressed confidence that Houck would make positive changes in his life.
“Kenny Houck recognizes that the activities he engaged in were not only harmful to himself, but also harmful to others, particularly children,” Cooper said. “He’s admitted his transgressions. And that’s the first step to reconciliation and redemption. So I’m confident he’s on the road to recovery.”
Hannig currently is incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Institution in Fairton, N.J., according to the federal Bureau of Prisons website.
At press time, a court appearance for Hannig hadn’t been scheduled, and no attorney had been selected to represent him.