Suit filed against Windham man who allegedly violated civil rights act

Posted Sept. 10, 2013, at 10:04 a.m.
Last modified Sept. 10, 2013, at 10:24 a.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — The state attorney general’s office has filed a complaint against a Windham man for violating the Maine Civil Rights Act.

The complaint, which was filed in Cumberland County Superior Court, alleges Justin Boucher, 30, threatened an African-American woman with violence due to racial bias.

The complaint seeks that Boucher have no contact with the victim.

The complaint alleges that Boucher voiced a racial slur at the victim as he was driving in Portland on April 16. As she slowed down for a traffic light, Boucher pulled up to her and yelled a racial slur out his window, followed by, “You need to learn how to drive!”

At the next traffic light, Boucher again pulled up next to the woman and yelled a racial slur, which was followed by “You don’t know how to drive. I should hang you up on that tree behind you over there where you belong.”

Fearing she would be attacked physically, the woman sped through the red light to get away, while Boucher drove off in another direction.

The state’s civil rights law ensures all people have a right to engage in lawful activities without being threatened with violence based on their race, skin color, religion, gender, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability or sexual orientation. The law also states the attorney general can seek an injunction against a person who uses bias to threaten another person with violence.

According to Leanne Robbin at the attorney general’s office, 49 complaints were filed between 2005 and 2011, while figures from 2012 and 2013 weren’t immediately available.

Three of the complaints involved criminal prosecutions.

Boucher has 21 days to answer to the complaint. No date has been set for the hearing on the motion for preliminary injunction.

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