A Harpswell man and his son have been accused of painting antisemitic graffiti that authorities said could qualify as a hate crime.

William Deary, 49, and his 18-year-old son, Hayden, were charged with misdemeanor criminal mischief, the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office announced Thursday.

The graffiti, painted in black on the pavement at the intersection of Stevens Corner Road and Harpswell Islands Road, included a swastika and mentioned the Holocaust, the Sheriff’s Office said. The agency learned of the graffiti from the Harpswell Anchor, which forwarded a photo taken by a local resident who said he was horrified when he discovered it on Jan. 14.

The Sheriff’s Office said in a news release the graffiti could qualify as a civil rights violation at the state and federal levels, adding it alerted the state Attorney General’s Office to the case.

Harpswell Town Administrator Kristi Eiane told the Anchor the graffiti is “extremely disturbing and does not represent the values of this community.”

The Dearys are due in West Bath District Court on April 16. The Sheriff’s Office said Brunswick police assisted in the investigation.

“The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office and the Brunswick Police Department expresses our gratitude to the members of the Community, Community Groups and individuals who contacted us, provided information and supported their neighbors, family and friends throughout this investigation to bring this case to a successful resolution,” the Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

The elder Deary was arrested by Brunswick police in 2013 on an unspecified warrant and by Freeport police in 2012 on a charge of operating after habitual offender revocation.

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