Alleged Maine gay basher faces civil charges
February 06 2004 12:00 AM ET
A South Portland, Maine, man who faces criminal charges for an assault last fall outside a gay bar has been named in a civil complaint by the attorney general's office in what officials say was a hate crime. The Cumberland County superior court complaint alleges that Joshua Nisbet, 26, pulled up in a car near a gay bar. Nisbet and a passenger, whom officials are still trying to identify, yelled an antigay slur at two men walking nearby and assaulted them, Assistant Attorney General Jerry Reid said. "This was a violent, unprovoked assault against two people based on someone's perception of their sexual orientation, and people need to understand that when something like this happens, it is taken very seriously," Reid said.
The state is seeking a restraining order that would prohibit Nisbet from assaulting or harassing people based on their perceived sexual orientation. Nisbet was on probation at the time of the October 3 incident. The probation was revoked, and he was being held at the Cumberland County Jail.