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Court Issues Order Against Five Men in Civil Rights Suit for Assault of Native Americans
August 21, 2008
Attorney General Steve Rowe announced that the Maine Superior Court has ordered five defendants (David Townsend, Nicholas James, Adam Casey, Sean McArthur and a juvenile) to stay away from five Native American residents of Indian Township, and to refrain from future violations of the Maine Civil Rights Act.
The State alleged in its Complaint filed in January 2008, that the five defendants had threatened violence and assaulted the five Native American males (then aged 13,14,15,16 and 20) on August 19, 2007 in Baileyville and that the conduct was based upon the defendants’ bias against the victims’ race and ethnic origin.
Attorney General Rowe said: “Racially motivated acts of violence tear at the fabric of our communities. No person should be afraid to walk the streets of our cities and towns. Maine is a place where every person has the right to feel safe.”
According to the Complaint, the defendants drove up to the victims and emerged from their cars armed with two by fours, sticks and pipes. The Complaint goes on to allege that Nicholas James yelled, “Come on, let’s get the Indians.” The other defendants also directed anti-Native American epithets at the victims. The State asserted that the juvenile defendant and James assaulted the 14 year old victim by punching and kicking him, while Adam Casey, David Townsend and others physically blocked anyone attempting to assist him. Sean McArthur was alleged to have pursued the 20 year old victim and assaulted him with a stick.
The Maine Civil Rights Act protects all people from violence and threats of violence based on bias against their race and ethnic origin.
The defendants consented to the Court’s Order by signing consent decrees. Under the decrees, the defendants did not admit that they committed the threats or assaults or otherwise violated the Maine Civil Rights Act. Under the Order, any future violations of the Maine Civil Rights Act by the defendants will be prosecutable as a Class D Crime, punishable by up to 364 days in jail. The Order prohibits them from having any contact with the five victims named in the Order and from committing future violation of the Maine Civil Rights Act against any person based on race, color, religion, sex, ancestry, national origin, physical or mental disability or sexual orientation.
The Attorney General’s Office would like to thank the Baileyville Police Department for its investigation of the allegations and its referral to the Attorney General for enforcement under the Maine Civil Rights Act. The Washington County District Attorney’s Office has criminal actions pending against the four adult defendants.
News Release, Contact: Leanne Robbin, Assistant Attorney General, (207)626-8581