Biddeford Man Pleads Guilty, Sentenced for Racially Motivated Assault

May 26, 2011

AUGUSTA ? A Biddeford man pled guilty and was sentenced on charges he violated the Maine Civil Rights Act, Attorney General William J. Schneider announced.

Adam D. Goodwin, age 36, pled guilty in York County Superior Court in Alfred to assault, interference with constitutional and civil rights, and a criminal violation of a civil rights injunction. Following the plea, Superior Court Justice G. Arthur Brennan sentenced Goodwin to nine months in the York County Jail.

On December 18, 2010 the victim, Carl Donaldson, an African-American, waited for an order at Rapid Ray?s Diner in Saco with his female companion, who was Caucasian. Goodwin entered the diner and made a racially derogatory comment to the couple. Donaldson replied and turned back to his companion when Goodwin closed his fist and punched Donaldson in the head.

?It is unacceptable that acts of violence are committed against complete strangers because of their race or national origin. We will continue to vigorously pursue and prosecute those who commit crimes driven by hatred and intolerance.?

At the time of the assault, Goodwin was under an injunction resulting from a 2008 assault against a Jewish man motivated by anti-Semitism. The Maine Superior Court had ordered Goodwin not to engage in future violations of the Maine Civil Rights Act, which prohibits the use of physical force or violence or the threat of physical force or violence motivated by bias against race, color, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, and physical or mental disability.

Since 1992 the Maine Attorney General?s office has obtained over 200 injunctions against individuals under the Maine Civil Rights Act. Violations of those injunctions are Class D crimes punishable by up to 364 days in jail. There have only been eight criminal violations of these civil rights orders, all resulting in significant jail sentences.

This case was investigated by the Saco Police Department. Assistant Attorney General Leanne Robbin handled this matter for Attorney General Schneider?s Financial Crimes and Civil Rights Division.

CONTACT: Brenda Kielty (207)626-8577