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RI attorney general files civil rights complaint

March 28, 2011

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PROVIDENCE, R.I.—Rhode Island's attorney general has filed a civil rights complaint against a Johnston man who he says repeatedly hurled homophobic and racist epithets at a gay neighbor and a neighbor with a bi-racial child.

The complaint, filed Monday, alleges that Vincent Smith's behavior drove Jennifer Piscione -- a single mother -- to move out of her condo in January 2010.

The complaint also says that Smith made homophobic remarks to Roger DiTusa, a gay neighbor, on about two dozen occasions over the course of two years. It says Smith was arrested in March for smashing the sliding glass door in DiTusa's condominium.

If a judge rules that he violated Piscione and DiTusa's civil rights, Smith faces a $5,000 fine. The attorney general's office is also seeking a restraining order.