September 18, 2001

SEPTEMBER 18, 2001

CONTACT: Carlos Diaz, Assistant Attorney General 207-822-0498

Attorney General Steven Rowe announced today that his office filed an enforcement action under the Maine Civil Rights Act against Chad Aube, 19, and Christopher Cheetham, 23, based on an incident in Lewiston involving anti-gay violence. The Complaint alleges that on February 19, 2001, in the vicinity of the Hurricane Club on Lisbon Street, Aube and Cheetham assaulted and threatened two men whom they believed to be gay. The case has been delayed due to difficulty in locating the two Defendants to serve them with court summonses.

The Attorney General seeks a permanent court order prohibiting Aube and Cheetham from any further acts or threats of violence motivated by sexual orientation. Aube and Cheetham could also face civil penalties of up to $5,000 each.

Attorney General Rowe said, "Imagine being assaulted and threatened simply because you belong to a particular group. It is a violation of basic freedom and the Maine Civil Rights Act. Maine must be a place where you can safely walk down the street with someone you love."

The Attorney General expressed his appreciation for the investigation conducted by the Lewiston Police Department, and to the Brunswick Police Department for its assistance in locating and serving the Defendants.