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Biddeford man gets 3 years in prison for his role in 2018 hate crime

Dusty Leo and his uncle Maurice Diggins committed two separate racially motivated assaults in April 2018: one in Portland and one in Biddeford

PORTLAND, Maine — Dusty Leo, 30, of Biddeford was sentenced to three years in prison followed by three years of supervised release Friday for his role in a hate crime against a Black man in April 2018. 

Following a three-day trial in March 2020, a jury convicted Leo’s co-conspirator and uncle, Maurice Diggins, of conspiring to commit and committing a series of racially motivated assaults against Black men in Maine. For his convictions, Diggins was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release.  

Leo pleaded guilty on February 25, 2020.

According to Dusty Leo's guilty plea and evidence presented at Diggins’s trial, on April 15, 2018, Diggins attacked a Sudanese man without provocation outside of a bar in Portland. The assault, which broke the victim’s jaw, was immediately followed by an attack on another Black man who was standing on the street nearby.

In a second incident, which happened an hour later, about 20 miles away in Biddeford, Diggins and Leo drove in Leo’s truck into a parking lot of a convenience store, where Diggins got out of the truck and approached a Black man who was walking toward the store’s entrance. Diggins directed a racial slur at the man and distracted him while Leo got out of the truck and sucker-punched the victim in the jaw, knocking him to the ground. The unprovoked attack broke the victim’s jaw in several places. 

Leo was ordered to pay restitution to his victims Friday.