AG Files Civil Rights Complaint Against Man Accused of Assaulting Man for Holding Hands With Boyfriend

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Attorney General John Formella

CONCORD – Attorney General John M. Formella announces that the Civil Rights Unit has filed a civil complaint in Hillsborough County Superior Court against Matthew Dionne, age 35, of Manchester, for violating the New Hampshire Civil Rights Act.

The complaint alleges that on May 11, 2021, Mr. Dionne assaulted a male who was walking along Elm Street in Manchester, and holding hands with his boyfriend. The assault was unprovoked and after Mr. Dionne was apprehended by police, he stated that he assaulted the man because he did not “approve of homosexuality” and did not want the couple “to perform public displays of affection in public space.”

The civil complaint alleges that the assault was motivated by animus toward the victim’s sexual orientation.

A civil rights violation allows for a maximum civil penalty of $5,000. The court may also enjoin further violations of the Civil Rights Act.

The complaint and the allegations contained therein are merely accusations that the Civil Rights Unit must prove at a final hearing.

The Civil Rights Unit enforces state and federal civil rights laws, including the New Hampshire Civil Rights Act and the New Hampshire Law Against Discrimination. Anyone who believes their civil rights may have been violated may file a complaint at or by calling 603-271-3650.

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