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Attorney General Seeks Injunction against Maine Man for Civil Rights Violation
June 5, 2012
AUGUSTA – Attorney General William J. Schneider announced that a complaint was filed on May 29, 2012 in Androscoggin County Superior Court under the Maine Civil Rights Act against Joshua Drew, age 27, for using violence or the threat of violence against multiple women based on his bias against their gender. Drew is currently incarcerated at the Cumberland County Jail.
Drew has a history of domestic violence assaults and acts of terrorizing against women, with convictions in Kennebec, Somerset and Androscoggin Counties. In 2011 Drew became enraged when told to leave the home of a female victim. He came up from behind and choked her, kicked her in the back of the head bringing her to the ground, kicked her in the face, and killed her kitten.
The complaint alleges that Drew has specifically expressed hatred against women generally, stating in writing at one of the jails in which he was incarcerated, “Is there really any question or wondering why I keep coming back to jail for the exact same thing? Domestic Assault/Why is it that every woman that comes near me finds a way to [expletive] me over? Every last one of you does nothing but fuel my hatred and anger towards women. I do not feel remorse and I am not sorry for the things I have done. My only regret is that I didn’t do worse to the women I assaulted.”
Under the Maine Civil Rights Act, the Attorney General’s Office may obtain injunctions against individuals who use physical force or violence or the threat of physical force or violence motivated by bias against race, color, religion, sex, ancestry, sexual orientation, national origin, and physical or mental disability. Violations of those injunctions are Class D crimes punishable by up to 364 days in jail and a $2,000 fine.
The Attorney General’s lawsuit seeks an injunction prohibiting Drew from having any contact with his past victims and from violating the Maine Civil Rights Act in the future.
“It is rare to have evidence of a civil rights violation motivated purely by bias against all women,” said Attorney General Schneider. “The Civil Rights Act is one tool to stop violence against women based on this kind of seething hatred of women as an entire class of people.”
Since 1992 the Maine Attorney General’s Office has obtained more than 200 civil rights injunctions on behalf of victims of hate crimes, often working in close collaboration with police departments and District Attorney’s offices throughout the state. There have only been nine criminal violations of these civil rights orders, all resulting in significant jail sentences.
In addition to the prosecution of cases, the Attorney General’s Office provides training and support to student civil rights teams in schools across Maine through the Civil Rights Team Project. The CRTP currently has student civil rights teams in approximately 200 schools and works to reduce the incidence of bias-motivated harassment and violence in schools and communities.
This case was investigated by Attorney General Schneider’s Investigations Division with assistance from the Maine Department of Corrections, Livermore Falls Police Department, Augusta Police Department, Madison Police Department, Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office and the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant Attorney General Leanne Robbin is handling this matter for Attorney General Schneider’s Criminal Division.