February 6, 2004

FEBRUARY 6, 2004



Attorney General Steven Rowe announced today that the Maine Superior Court Justice Ellen Gorman issued an order permanently enjoining Roseann Hinds and Francis Warren of Brownfield from violating the Maine Civil Rights Act.  The court found that Hinds harassed and assaulted African-American and Bermudian students at Fryeburg Academy in spring, 2001, and that Hinds and Warren brutally assaulted an African-American guest of their niece’s at their Brownfield home in August, 2002.  The court found that their conduct was motivated by bias based on the victims’ race, ancestry or national origin. 

The order prohibits Hinds and Warren from coming onto the property of Fryeburg Academy or knowingly coming within 150 feet of the victims, their residences or their families.  They are also enjoined from threatening or using physical force or violence against any other person motivated by reason of that person’s race, color religion, sex, ancestry, national origin, physical or mental disability, or sexual orientation.  If Hinds or Warren knowingly violate the order, they will be committing a class D crime, punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.  

            During the assaults, Hinds and Warren made frequent use of a racial epithet aimed at African-Americans.  In her threats towards the Fryeburg students, Hinds made reference to the notorious hate crime in Texas, in which an African-American named James Bird was dragged behind a truck to his death. 

“Many students choose to come to Fryeburg Academy from urban areas and other countries in order to obtain a safe educational experience in a small, picturesque New England town,” said Attorney General Rowe.  “The defendants’ conduct shattered the students’ sense of safety and community.  The court’s order will ensure that the defendants’ racial harassment, threats and violence will no longer mar this community.”

            The defendants were also convicted criminally for their conduct on charges brought by District Attorney Norman Croteau, who serves Oxford, Franklin and Androscoggin Counties.

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