PORTLAND — The ACLU of Maine Foundation has filed a federal lawsuit against two Cumberland County Jail guards for using excessive force against an inmate from El Salvador.

The complaint filed in U.S. District Court alleges that the Wilmer Moreno Recinos was brutally beaten and unnecessarily pepper-sprayed by the guards in 2010. According to the complaint, Glenn MacDonald and Steven Pyle pushed Recinos as they were approaching his cell, starting punching him and continued to do so even after he assumed a protective posture on the floor.

ACLU Legal Director Zachary Heiden Recinos’ treatment is inconsistent with the Constitution and that there needs to be accountability when such violations take place.

Peter Marchesi, a lawyer representing the officers, called the allegations offensive, sensationalistic and inflammatory. He said the inmate refused direction to leave one area, had to be escorted through the pod and refused to enter his cell. He said the officers used the minimum amount of force necessary to respond to the threat posed to them.

MacDonald, who no longer works at the jail, was disciplined for using excessive force. He was suspended for one day.

Pyle, who pepper-sprayed Recinos, was not disciplined in the matter.

Recinos, 32, has since been deported to El Salvador for being in the U.S. illegally.