Attorney General Announces Order in Michael Ryan Civil Rights Case

February 3, 2011

AUGUSTA ? Attorney General William Schneider announced today that the York County Superior Court has ordered Michael Ryan, age 31, of Biddeford, to have no contact with two middle school students and to comply with the Maine Civil Rights Act.

The Superior Court order arises from allegations that Ryan threatened a 13-year-old girl and a 12-year-old boy, while they were walking past his home to school on September 20, 2010. The Attorney General?s complaint alleges that Ryan addressed the girl with racial epithets and blamed people of her race for problems in the schools and welfare system. He threatened that he would assault her if she did not get away from his house, and that if she walked by his building again, there would be people on the porch to beat her up.

The Order not only prohibits Ryan from having any contact with the two middle school students, but also prohibits him from ?assaulting, using physical force or violence, threatening to use physical force or violence or attempting to use physical force or violence on any person motivated by bias based upon race, color, religion, sex, ancestry, national origin, physical or mental disability, or sexual orientation.? Under the Maine Civil Rights Act, any knowing violation of the Order is a Class D crime, punishable by up to 364 days in jail.

?No student should be afraid to walk to school because of the color of their skin. My office is committed to enforcing the Maine Civil Rights Act to ensure that our schools and streets are safe from violence and harassment based on race or color,? said Attorney General Schneider.

CONTACT: Leann Robbin, AAG (207) 626-8581