One of the Biddeford men indicted on federal hate crime charges after an alleged assault on a black man has been released on bail while the case is pending, but the other will remain in custody.

Maurice Diggins, 34, and Dusty Leo, 27, are accused of assaulting the man outside a convenience store while repeatedly shouting a racial slur. They were indicted by a federal grand jury last month, and each has been charged with a hate crime and conspiracy to commit a hate crime.

Attorneys for both men have said they deny the charges and will fight them in court.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office had asked a judge to detain the two men until trial, and Diggins and Leo appeared in U.S. District Court in Portland on separate days this week for hearings on those motions.

Court documents show that Diggins on Tuesday waived his right to a detention hearing and agreed to be held in custody pending trial. But Leo’s attorney and the prosecutor agreed Wednesday to a set of bail conditions, including a curfew and a $10,000 appearance bond. He has a less extensive criminal record than his co-defendant, who was on state probation at the time of the alleged attack.

“It’s a double-edged sword,” U.S. Magistrate Judge John Rich III told Leo during the hearing. “If you do well, that will be a plus in your favor. If you do poorly, you’ll be in worse shape than if you had stayed in jail pending trial.”


According to the indictment, Diggins and Leo were together in a pickup truck when they sped into the parking lot of a 7-Eleven in Biddeford on April 15 and shouted at an African-American man who was walking toward the store entrance.

“Who you eyeballing, (racial slur)?” Diggins shouted, according to court records. Diggins then got out of the truck and approached the man, repeating his question.

The indictment states that Diggins then blocked the man’s access to the store entrance. Leo allegedly got out of the vehicle and struck the man on the head.

The victim then staggered backward, and when Diggins approached, the victim fell to the ground. The indictment states that when he got to his feet and ran away, Leo chased him across the parking lot.

“The defendants shouted words to the effect of ‘Go on, run, (racial slur),” prosecutors allege in the indictment.

Diggins and Leo then got back into the truck and drove after the victim, again shouting the racial epithet, it says. He escaped by running down a side alley.


The victim is only identified as D.M. in the indictment. His injuries from the alleged encounter included a broken jaw.

Each man was initially charged in state court with two counts of aggravated assault and one count of interfering with someone’s constitutional rights. The aggravated assault charges are Class B felonies punishable by up to 10 years in state prison and a $20,000 fine. Those cases are still pending in York County Superior Court.

The Maine Attorney General’s Office also filed a civil rights complaint against them in May. Neither of the men appeared for that case, and a judge issued a permanent injunction ordering both of them to not have any further contact with the victim or face up to 364 days in jail and up to a $2,000 fine.

That complaint prompted a rally and a march in Biddeford protesting the alleged attack.

The two men were then indicted on the federal charges last month. Each faces up to 10 years in prison on the hate crime charge and five years in prison on the conspiracy and $250,000 in fines for each count, according to federal court records.

Leo has a criminal record that includes convictions for carrying a concealed weapon, trafficking in dangerous knives and two OUIs, according to the State Bureau of Identification.


Diggins has an extensive criminal history that began in 2003 and includes multiple convictions for theft and burglary, and has been in and out of state prison, according to the State Bureau of Identification.

Leo was taken back to the Strafford County Jail in New Hampshire, which is the nearest federal detention facility and where he had been held previously. He was released Wednesday afternoon and is being monitored through an ankle bracelet. He was ordered to have no contact with his co-defendant or the victim, and is required to report for work at his job at a building company.

It is unclear where Diggins is being held.

Megan Doyle can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:

Twitter: megan_e_doyle

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