LEWISTON — Maine’s attorney general filed a complaint against a local man alleging he threatened the life of a Black woman.

Charles Barnes submitted photo

The complaint, filed in Androscoggin County Superior Court in Auburn against Charles Barnes, 45, cites the Maine Civil Rights Act, which prohibits threats and acts of violence and property damage, based on race.

The complaint alleges that on Aug. 30, 2022, Barnes relayed a threatening voicemail to a 32-year-old Black woman, asserting that he had been parked outside her apartment and was, “waiting for someone to step outside and the first one who does is gonna die,” according to a statement released Wednesday by Attorney General Aaron Frey.

Barnes went on to threaten that, “I don’t care if it’s her kid, or her, or her boyfriend.  I don’t care … I’m killing me a (racial epithet,)” Frey said.

The alleged victim called the Lewiston Police Department; Barnes was  arrested and charged with terrorizing, a misdemeanor punishable by up to 364 days in jail.

He pleaded not guilty to the charge and is due back in court next month, according to a clerk at 8th District Court in Lewiston.


The complaint filed by the Office of the Maine Attorney General under the Maine Civil Rights Act is seeking a civil injunction prohibiting Barnes from having any contact with the victim or any member of her family and from violating the Maine Civil Rights Act in the future.

“The defendant’s statements are outrageous threats of violence against the victim and all persons of color,” Frey said.

“My office will take action under the Maine Civil Rights Act to enjoin racist threats that cause fear in our community and to prevent such threats from escalating into acts of violence,” he said.

The Maine Civil Rights Act authorizes the attorney general to bring an action against any person who uses physical force or violence, the threat of physical force or violence, property damage or the threat of property damage against another person motivated by bias against the other person’s race, color, religion, sex, ancestry, national origin, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation or gender identity, according to Frey’s statement.

A knowing violation of an order issued under the Civil Rights Act is a misdemeanor crime punishable by up to 364 days in jail and a $2,000 fine.

The Lewiston Police Department was the initial investigating agency, Frey said.

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