BIDDEFORD — A Biddeford man has been ordered by a York County court to avoid contact with a middle school girl and boy he allegedly threatened and called names because of the girl’s skin color.

The decision was announced today by Attorney General William Schneider. The Attorney General’s Office brought the civil rights case against Michael Ryan, 31, after he confronted a 13-year-old girl and a 12-year-old boy while they were walking to school Sept. 20.

Prosecutors say Ryan called the girl, who is biracial and has brown skin, epithets and blamed people of her race for problems in the schools and welfare system. Ryan threatened the girl with assault if she did not get away from his house, and if she walked by there again, there would be people on the porch to beat her up, the complaint says. The boy, who is white, also was intimidated by Ryan, the complaint says.

“No student should be afraid to walk to school because of the color of their skin,” Schneider said.
“My office is committed to enforcing the Maine Civil Rights Act to ensure that our schools and streets are safe from violence and harassment based on race or color.”

Ryan was ordered to have no contact with the two children and it bars him from assaulting any person based on race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin or disability. Violating the order is a crime punishable by up to  year in jail.