For Immediate Release - April 23, 2010

Jamaica Plain Couple Accused of Hate Crime Ordered to Stay Away From Victims Under Order Obtained by AG Coakley's Office

BOSTON - A Jamaica Plain couple has been ordered to stay away from a same-sex couple that they allegedly attacked on New Year's Eve while they were walking home from a party. Attorney General Martha Coakley's Office obtained a civil rights injunction late yesterday against Herbert Malloy and Hattie Boseman, who are charged with assaulting a female couple in Jamaica Plain because of their sexual orientation.

The order, granted by Suffolk Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Fahey prohibits Malloy and Boseman, both of Jamaica Plain, from violating the civil rights of the victims and all others in the Commonwealth based upon their actual or perceived sexual orientation. A violation of the injunction is a criminal offense punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 and two and a half years in the House of Correction, or if bodily injury results from such violation, a $10,000 fine and up to 10 years in state prison.

"No one should have to fear for their personal safety because of his or her sexual orientation," said Attorney General Martha Coakley. "Incidents of violence based on sexual orientation are unacceptable and can have a devastating emotional impact on victims. Our office will continue to hold accountable individuals who intimidate and assault people because of hatred or ignorance."

According to the complaint, filed on April 8, 2010, the victims, a lesbian couple, were walking home from a New Year's Eve party in Jamaica Plain when Malloy and Boseman, seated inside a pickup truck, began screaming at the couple because they were holding hands and kissing. The complaint further alleges that Boseman left the truck and attacked one of the victims by hitting her in the face and head with a handbag. While one of the women was defending herself against Boseman, Malloy then got out of the truck and assaulted the other victim.

The Attorney General's Office is seeking a permanent injunction against Boseman and Malloy.

The Attorney General's Office brought this action under the Massachusetts Civil Rights Act (MCRA), commonly referred to as the "hate crimes" statute. Under the MCRA, the Attorney General's Office may obtain injunctions against individuals who threaten, intimidate, or coerce victims because of their membership in a protected class - race, religion, sexual orientation, or disability, for example - or because they are engaged in a protected activity, such as the right to use public ways or places, the right to vote, or the right to associate.

Since taking office in 2007, Attorney General Martha Coakley's office has obtained 32 civil rights injunctions on behalf of victims of hate crimes, often working in close collaboration with police departments and District Attorney's offices throughout the Commonwealth. In addition to prosecuting cases, the Civil Rights Division actively provides trainings to police officers, school personnel, and community groups to aid in the recognition and understanding of bias-motivated incidents and how to properly respond.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Jessica Lindemann of Attorney General Coakley's Civil Rights Division, with the assistance of Ashley Cinelli of the Victim Witness Services Division.