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Press Release  AG’s Office Obtains Injunction Following Bias-motivated Assault at Provincetown Bar

Defendant Attacked Three Men Because of Their Sexual Orientation; Court Order Requires Defendant to Stay Away from Victims and Witnesses
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  • Office of Attorney General Maura Healey

Media Contact   for AG’s Office Obtains Injunction Following Bias-motivated Assault at Provincetown Bar

Chloe Gotsis

BarnstableA Truro man has been ordered to stay away from a married couple, their friend, and a Provincetown bar after using a homophobic slur and violently attacking them at the bar because of their sexual orientation, Attorney General Maura Healey announced today. The AG’s Office obtained a court order that also prohibits the defendant from engaging in further bias-motivated assaults, threats, or intimidation.

The AG’s Office filed a civil complaint on April 10 in Barnstable Superior Court against Scott Rego, age 49, alleging he violated the state’s civil rights law when he attacked the victims because of their sexual orientation. On Tuesday, Judge Gary Nickerson granted a preliminary injunction against Rego prohibiting him from contacting the victims, their families, or any witness in the case, from coming within 25 yards of the victims or within 50 yards of their residences and places of employment, and from attempting to gain entry to The Underground, the Provincetown bar where the incident occurred. 

“We allege this defendant brutally attacked three men at a bar without provocation because of their sexual orientation,” said AG Healey. “These attacks harm both the victims and the broader community. We will not allow attacks on our residents or conduct that sends a message of prejudice and discrimination.”

According to the complaint, on December 3, 2017 the defendant approached the three men at the bar and, without provocation, called at least one of the men a homophobic slur, smashed a beer bottle on his face, and pushed him onto the ground. The AG’s Office alleges that Rego then grabbed the other two victims off of their chairs and threw them onto the ground, and that the attack would have continued if the bartender and others had not intervened. Provincetown Police arrested Rego at the bar soon after the alleged incident and the Cape and Islands District Attorney’s Office has an ongoing criminal case against him.

The attack not only resulted in physical harm to the victims, but also left them with significant emotional trauma.

The AG’s preliminary injunction also bars Rego from assaulting, threatening, intimidating, or coercing any person because of their perceived or actual sexual orientation. Any violation of the injunction is a criminal offense.

The Attorney General’s Office brought action in this case, referred by the Provincetown Police Department, under the Massachusetts Civil Rights Act (MCRA). Under the MCRA, the AG’s Office may obtain injunctions against individuals who threaten, intimidate, or coerce victims and interfere or attempt to interfere with their secured rights, such as the right to access public ways or places, the right to associate, or the right to be safe and secure in one’s person. The AG’s office prioritizes cases involving conduct that is motivated by the offenders’ bias against the victim(s) because of their membership in a protected class – race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability, for example.

In addition to the preliminary injunction, the AG’s Office is seeking a permanent injunction in accordance with the terms of the preliminary injunction, as well as civil penalties, attorneys’ fees, and damages for the violations.

This case is being handled by Assistant Attorney General Sara Colb of AG Healey’s Civil Rights Division, with from assistance Investigator Colleen Frost of AG Healey’s Civil Investigations Division and Senior Advocate Megan Murphy of AG Healey’s Victim Witness Services Division as well as the Provincetown Police Department.


Media Contact   for AG’s Office Obtains Injunction Following Bias-motivated Assault at Provincetown Bar

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    Attorney General Maura Healey is the chief lawyer and law enforcement officer of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
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