Update: Judge Rules that Throwing Pig's Head into Lewiston Islamic Center was Racially Motivated, Violation of Civil Rights Act

August 31, 2006

Source: WCSH6


On August 31, 2006 WCSH6 reported, "A judge ruled Thursday that 33-year-old Brent Matthews violated Maine's Civil Rights Act when he tossed a pig's head into a Lewiston mosque earlier this summer. Matthews has never denied that he tossed the pig's head into the Lewiston Islamic Center. He has said all along it was a practical joke.

Justice Ellen Gorman said there was nothing remotely funny about what Matthews did and determined that his actions were racially motivated.

As a result of the ruling, Matthews must abide by a court order that forbids him from threatening or using physical force against the mosque or it's members. He must also stay at least 150 feet away from the mosque.

If Matthews violates that court order he could face criminal charges.

Members of the mosque told us they are pleased with the judges ruling. Matthews defense attorney says his client is obviously disappointed. But both sides say they are ready to make amends and move forward.

Matthews still faces misdemeanor criminal charges for the pig's head incident and is scheduled to be arraigned next week. Howaniec says he is trying to work out a deal with the District Attorney to resolve that case without going to trial."