A federal judge in Wisconsin ruled on Wednesday that a wrongful death lawsuit filed against Kyle Rittenhouse by the father of one of the men he shot and killed can proceed.
Rittenhouse fatally shot Anthony Huber in August 2020 during the Kenosha riots that erupted after Jacob Blake, a Black man, was shot by police.
John Huber, Anthony Huber's father, filed the complaint against Rittenhouse in 2021 and also names law enforcement officers and city officials as defendants, according to The Associated Press.
The lawsuit alleges that Rittenhouse, who was 17 at the time of the incident, conspired with law enforcement to cause harm to protesters and that officers allowed a dangerous situation to occur that violated Anthony Huber's constitutional rights and ultimately resulted in his death.
U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman rejected the motions to dismiss from Rittenhouse's legal team and other defendants and allowed the civil rights lawsuit to move forward, saying the death of Anthony Huber "could plausibly be regarded as having been proximately caused by the actions of the governmental defendants."
Rittenhouse attorney Shane Martin said the decision to allow the lawsuit to proceed does not address the merits of the case.
"While we respect the judge's decision, we do not believe there is any evidence of a conspiracy, and we are confident, just as a Kenosha jury found, Kyle's actions that evening were not wrongful and were undertaken in self-defense," Martin told the AP.
Lawyers and private investigators for John Huber spent more than 100 hours tracking Rittenhouse down, across seven states. Huber's legal team finally served the lawsuit to Rittenhouse's sister, who said he was not home.
Rittenhouse later tried to have the lawsuit dismissed, saying he was not served properly, but Adelman said he was "almost certainly evading service."
"Rittenhouse has been deliberately cagey about his whereabouts," the judge wrote. "Although he denies living in Florida, he does not identify the place that he deems to be his residence."
Anthony Huber's family is "one step closer to justice for their son's needless death," Anand Swaminathan, one of the attorneys for parents John Huber and Karen Bloom said.
"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," Swaminathan said in a statement.
Rittenhouse was acquitted of all charges in November 2021 and has maintained that he acted in self-defense.
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