August 1, 2002

AUGUST 1, 2002

CONTACT: CHRISTINA MOYLAN, Assistant Attorney General 207-626-8800

Attorney General Steven Rowe today announced that his office has filed a civil enforcement action under the Maine Civil Rights Act against Reginald Gilbert, Sr., 48, of Biddeford and Reginald Gilbert, Jr., 28, also of Biddeford, as a result of threats and an assault by the Gilberts against a gay man.

The complaint, filed in York County Superior Court, alleges Reginald Gilbert, Sr. verbally accosted and spat on the gay man who was walking down the street to visit a friend. The complaint alleges that Gilbert, Sr. threatened to kill the victim. The complaint also alleges that, as the victim was leaving the area, Reginald Gilbert, Jr. attacked the victim, kicking him several times in the face. Further, the complaint alleges, at 2:00 a.m. the next morning, Gilbert, Sr. went to the victim's house, screamed at him and threatened to burn his house down. Both Gilberts used repeated profanity and anti-gay language during each of the encounters, according to the complaint.

The Attorney General's complaint seeks to permanently enjoin Gilbert, Sr. and Gilbert, Jr. from any further threats or acts of violence, property damage, or trespass against the victim or others motivated by bias.

Attorney General Rowe stated: "No person in this State should be subject to threats or violence because of prejudice or bias. Our office will work closely with local law enforcement to aggressively enforce the State's civil rights laws."

Attorney General Rowe commended the Biddeford Police Department for its investigation of the incident. The department referred the case to Rowe's office for possible action under the Maine Civil Rights Act.