Two Maine men are facing federal charges of hate crimes in two different cities.
Court documents from the U.S. District Court state that in April 2018, two men assaulted a black man in the area of the Old Port and authorities say the government is going to have a harder time proving that these crimes were racially motivated.
According to federal documents, 34-year-old Maurice Diggins and 28-year-old Dusty Leo assaulted two different black men, one in Biddeford and one in the Old Port.
In both cases, the victims’ jaws were broken, they had multiple racial slurs yelled at them, and they continued to be harassed after running away.
Thea Johnson teaches law at the University of Southern Maine and stated that the federal charges of a hate crime are more complicated that the state level charges of aggravated assault.
Johnson said, “The prosecution is going to have to prove this motivation element, that the crime was motivated by this animosity, this racial animosity.”
According to court documents, both men are facing three charges: Conspiracy to commit a hate crime and two counts of a hate crime, which add up to a maximum 25 years in prison.
These crimes are harder to convict said Johnson.
“You have an easier job if you don’t have to prove the why. You just have to prove they did it and they intended to do it or knew they were going to do it.”
By Jeanette Smith
WGME 13: Maine men facing federal hate crime charges in two different cities
Image Courtesy of Scottish Government’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License