Charles Barnes submitted photo

LEWISTON — A local man was arrested Tuesday on federal charges over a racially-charged threatening voicemail about a neighbor, according to a U.S. Department of Justice news release.

Charles Allen Barnes, 47, of Lewiston faces one count of violating the federal interstate threats statute for allegedly sending a threatening voice message via an interstate communications service on Aug. 30, 2022. Barnes allegedly sent the message to a close friend of his neighbor, known as “D.F.” in court documents. Documents refer to the neighbor, an unnamed 32-year-old Black woman, as “K.T.”

According to the DOJ statement, Barnes allegedly said in the message that he was “outside a neighbor’s residence and would kill any Black person who emerged.” 

“I’ve been parked outside (K.T.)’s apartment since early this (expletive) morning, sis. Waiting for someone to step outside, and the first one who does is gonna die. Just like that. I don’t care if it’s her kid, or her, or her boyfriend. I don’t care, I don’t care. I’m killing me a (racial epithet).”

When the alleged victim reported the crime, Barnes was arrested by Lewiston Police Department on a charge of terrorizing, according to Sun Journal reports. In April, he pleaded not guilty and was due back in court in June.

Maine Attorney General Aaron Frey filed a Maine Civil Rights Act complaint in April in part asking for a civil injunction prohibiting Barnes from contacting the victim or her family and from making further Maine Civil Rights Act violations. Under the Act, the attorney general can bring action against any person who uses or threatens physical force, violence or property damage motivated by bias against the other person’s race, color, religion, sex, ancestry, national origin, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation or gender identity, Frey said in an April statement.

Federal interstate threats statute violations bring a maximum penalty of five years in prison if convicted. 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 terrorizing charge, a misdemeanor, is punishable by up to 364 days in jail.

The FBI Boston Division investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sheila W. Sawyer for the District of Maine and Trial Attorney Alec Ward of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division are prosecuting the case, according to the DOJ statement.

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