PORTLAND (WGME) — Two Maine Right Wing militants are facing federal charges of hate crimes in two different cities according to court documents.
Court documents from the U.S. District Court state that last April, two men assaulted a black man in the area of the Old Port, and law experts say the government is going to have a tougher time proving that these crimes were racially motivated.
Federal documents state that 34-year-old Maurice Diggins and 28-year-old Dusty Leo assaulted two different black men last April, one in Biddeford, and the other in the Old Port.
Court documents say in both cases, the victims had their jaws broken, had multiple racial slurs shouted at them, and that they continued to be harassed after running away.
Thea Johnson teaches law at USM, and says that the federal charges of a “hate crime” are more complicated than the state level charges of aggravated assault.
“The prosecution is going to have to prove this motivation element, that the crime was motivated by this animosity, this racial animosity,” Johnson said.
Court documents show both men face three charges: conspiracy to commit a hate crime and two counts of hate crime, which add up to a maximum of 25 years in prison.
Johnson says the crimes are harder to convict.
“You have an easier job if you don’t have to prove the why,” Johnson said. “You just have to prove they did it, and they intended to do it or knew they were going to do it.”
CBS 13 reached out to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for comment, as well as the lawyer representing both men.
Neither could comment on the case.