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Attorney General files civil rights complaint following Portland attack
March 22, 2021
Augusta - Attorney General Aaron M. Frey announced today that he will be filing a civil rights enforcement action against Troy Sprague, age 47, of Portland, for the attack on an Asian-American woman and her 12-year-old daughter on March 15, 2021 in Portland. The Attorney General's complaint seeks an order protecting the woman and her family, by prohibiting Sprague from having any contact with her or her family and from violating the Maine Civil Rights Act in the future.
According to the complaint, on the afternoon of March 15, 2021, the woman and her daughter were in their car waiting for an oil service at Prompto 10 Minute Oil Change on Forest Avenue in Portland. Sprague was walking along Forest Avenue when he turned and started swearing at the woman, telling her "to go back to your country" and "You Chinese go back to your country." Sprague then jumped over the guard rail separating the sidewalk from the service station and began kicking the womans partially open window. His kicking damaged her rearview mirror, causing debris to fly into her car and hit her daughter.
"We are bearing witness to an unconscionable increase in hate crimes being perpetrated against individuals of Asian descent across our nation," said Frey. "We will not tolerate such attacks in Maine, and we will act swiftly to address allegations like those received last week out of Portland. We encourage any member of Maine's Asian-American community to contact their local law enforcement agency if they encounter threats or acts of violence or property damage based on bias against their race, ancestry, or national origin. We will review all such cases to determine whether they meet the criteria for enforcement under our Civil Rights Act."
The Portland Police Department arrested Sprague on March 20, 2021, for Criminal Mischief and Interfering with Constitutional and Civil Rights. He has been released on bail.
The Maine Civil Rights Act prohibits the use of violence, the threat of violence or property damage against any person motivated by that persons race, color, religion, sex, ancestry, national origin, physical or mental disability or sexual orientation. Any violation of an injunctive order under the act is a Class D crime, punishable by up to 364 days in jail and a $2,000 fine.
The Attorney Generals Office would like to thank the Portland Police Department for the investigation of this case and the prompt referral to the Attorney General for enforcement under the Maine Civil Rights Act.