Maurice Diggins was convicted of conspiring to—and committing—hate crimes against black men in Maine. The government proved that Diggins conspired with his nephew, Dusty Leo, to brutally assault two men because they were black. Leo had already pleaded guilty.
In the first incident, Diggins attacked a black Sudanese man without provocation. During the same incident, Diggins and Leo assaulted another black man who was standing nearby. Witnesses heard Diggins and Leo using racial epithets during these incidents.
In the second incident, which occurred about an hour later and approximately 20 miles away, Diggins and Leo drove into a parking lot of a convenience store, where Diggins got out of the truck and approached a black man who was walking toward the store’s entrance. Diggins directed a racial slur at the man and distracted him while Leo got out of the truck and sucker-punched the man in the jaw, knocking him to the ground.
In both incidents, Diggins and Leo’s unprovoked attacks broke the victims’ jaws requiring extensive surgery.
Diggins and Leo have not been sentenced yet. Diggins faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each hate crimes charge, and five years in prison and a $250,000 fine on the conspiracy charge. Leo faces the same penalties for the conspiracy charge and the hate crimes charge.
Press Release: https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/biddeford-maine-man-convicted-hate-crime-assaults