By Ramona du Houx
Attorney General Janet Mills announced that her office has filed a civil complaint in the York County Superior Court against Dusty Leo, age 27, and Maurice Diggins, age 34, both of Biddeford, for the violent assault of an African-American man on April 15, 2018. The complaint requests that the court order Leo and Diggins to have no contact with the victim or his family and to commit no additional violations of the Maine Civil Rights Act.
According to the complaint, on April 15, 2018, the victim walked to a 7-Eleven convenience store near his home to make a few purchases. As he approached the front door of the store, defendants Leo and Diggins drove up in a pick-up truck. The victim had never met Leo or Diggins, who confronted him and repeatedly used a racial epithet to address him. Defendant Leo punched the victim on the side of his head, breaking his jaw. Defendant Diggins then hit the victim in the back of his head, throwing him onto the pavement. The victim managed to get up, and Leo and Diggins chased him in their truck until the victim lost them by running into an alley on foot.
Attorney General Mills stated "All Mainers should be shocked by this brutal race-based assault. This attack has shattered the victim's sense of safety. No person should be afraid to walk to a store for fear of being attacked due to the color of his or her skin. We filed this action to protect not simply this victim but any person of color who might be targeted by these defendants."
The Maine Civil Rights Act was enacted in 1992 and prohibits the use of violence, the threat of violence or property damage against any person motivated by that person's race, color, religion, sex, ancestry, national origin, physical or mental disability or sexual orientation. Any violation of an injunction under the act is a Class D crime, punishable by up to 364 days in jail and a $2,000 fine.
The Attorney General's Office would like to thank the Biddeford Police Department for the investigation of this case. Senior Assistant Attorney General Leanne Robbin will handle the case on behalf of the Office of the Attorney General.
The two Defendants have also been charged criminally with Aggravated Assault.