Courts and Crime

FAIRFIELD, Maine — Authorities have been unable to find a Maine woman and her 12-year-old daughter who are being sued in connection with the 2012 death of a 3-month-old baby.

The woman's daughter pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges in connection with the death of 3-month-old Brooklyn Foss-Greenaway. The mother was babysitting Brooklyn at the time.

Brooklyn's mother, Nicole Greenaway, filed a negligence lawsuit against the woman, who was never charged.

PORTLAND, Maine — A husband and wife from Kennebunk who told authorities they did not live together so the wife could continue to collect welfare benefits have pleaded guilty to welfare fraud charges.

Carol Welch pleaded guilty Thursday in in U.S. District Court in Portland guilty to Social Security fraud and theft of federal funds. Her husband, Scott Welch, pleaded guilty to making a false statement.

STANDISH, Maine — A former local official in a Maine town and two of his nephews are facing charges for digging up the cremated remains of two relatives in Standish.

Authorities say 71-year-old Limington resident and former selectman Calvin Lewis, 37-year-old Hiram resident Travis Lewis, and 42-year-old Kevin Lewis of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, are scheduled to appear in Bridgton District Court on Nov. 18 on charges of abuse of a corpse.

LEWISTON, Maine - Leading players in the criminal justice system offered very different views Thursday on whether minorities in Maine face tougher sentences than whites for the crimes they commit. Prosecutors, defense attorneys, state lawmakers and current inmates shared their thoughts on sentencing disparities at a U.S. Commission on Civil Rights hearing in Lewiston.

Three men have been charged with digging up the remains of two relatives and moving them to another cemetery. Those arrested include Calvin Lewis of Limington, a former selectmen there, and his nephews Travis and Kevin.

The widow of one of the buried men says she was told of the move by one of the men and called the sheriff's office. The three have been ordered to appear in court November 18 to answer charges of abuse of a corpse.

AUGUSTA, Maine — A New York City man who orchestrated drug trafficking in Maine from behind bars even after he was arrested has been sentenced to spend six years in prison.

Mark Anthony Hilliard was sentenced Wednesday in Kennebec County Superior Court after pleading guilty to aggravated trafficking in scheduled drugs and trafficking in scheduled drugs. The 32-year-old Hilliard, of the Bronx, was also sentenced to four years of probation.

AUGUSTA, Maine — A 66-year-old Mount Vernon man has pleaded guilty to having unlawful sexual contact with a child.

Prosecutors say James Beane was sentenced Wednesday in Kennebec County Superior Court to serve two years of a 10-year prison term and 12 years of probation.

District Attorney Maeghan Maloney tells the Kennebec Journal the case was handled swiftly because Beane did not want to make the girl testify.

Court records show the victim was 4 when the offense occurred in April. Maloney described it as inappropriate touching.

AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Human Rights Commission has sided with a man who says he was a victim of discrimination and unfairly discharged from an assisted living residence in Richmond.

The commission voted 4-0 to find reasonable grounds to believe James Nichols was denied a reasonable accommodation by Richmond Eldercare Coalition Inc. However, the panel voted to dismiss Nichols' charges that two facility officials discriminated against him on the basis of disability.

LEWISTON, Maine — Lewiston has decided to accept deals offered by two federal agencies to pay penalties for fraudulent loans made to a developer.

City councilors voted 7-0 Tuesday to accept the settlement offers.

According to the agreement, the city will pay $140,000 in reimbursements to the Housing and Urban Development Department and $40,000 to the Department of Justice.

The $200,000 in HUD loans to developer Travis Soule in 2007 and 2008 were meant to be used to renovate three apartment buildings.

AUGUSTA, Maine — A Maine man charged with injuring his girlfriend's twin 2-year-old daughters remains jailed on $50,000 bail after pleading not guilty.

David Devine of Oakland pleaded not guilty Tuesday to two counts of aggravated assault in connection with the May attack that landed both girls in the hospital, one with a broken leg and the other with a broken arm, among other injuries.

PARIS, Maine (AP) _ A judge has upheld the vehicular manslaughter conviction of a Maine woman accused of being drunk and reading a text message at the time of a double-fatal car crash.

Jurors acquitted 21-year-old Kristina Lowe of West Paris of drunken driving in May but returned guilty verdicts for manslaughter and leaving the scene of an accident.

The Sun Journal said a judge on Tuesday dismissed motions for a new trial, mistrial or acquittal.

PORTLAND, Maine — A former teacher at a private school in Freeport who is charged with allowing his property in Lewiston to be used for drug sales has been released on bail.

Noel Thibodeau was released Monday on $10,000 bail and on condition that he live with a family member and get substance abuse and mental health counseling.

The 43-year-old Thibodeau was arrested Aug. 5 and charged in federal court with maintaining drug-involved premises.

Court documents say investigators found Thibodeau had been allowing drug dealers to work out of his home since early 2013.

BANGOR, Maine — A former Maine police chief has pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting twin 5-year-old girls he was taking care of.

Carl E. Smith, who was chief in Howland for 13 years until 1988, was held on $100,000 bail after pleading not guilty in a Bangor courtroom Monday to one count of gross sexual assault and two counts of unlawful sexual contact. He has been held on bail since his arrest in May.

The sexual assaults are alleged to have occurred on April 25 at a home in Eddington.

BAR HARBOR, Maine - A Bar Harbor man is facing child pornography charges after Maine State Police investigators found hundreds of images of children on his personal computer.

Authorities say Randal Babiuk was arrested Thursday at the Jackson Laboratories in Bar Harbor, where he works. There is no indication that any computers at the lab were involved.

Babiuk was charged with possessing sexually explicit material of someone under the age of 12.  He was taken to the Hancock County Jail.

The investigation was led by the State Police Computer Crimes Unit.
 

LEWISTON, Maine (AP) _ A Maine judge says a 14-year-boy charged with setting one of several Lewiston fires last year is competent to stand trial.

The Portland Press-Herald reports Judge Rich Lawrence lifted an earlier ruling that found Abdi Ibrahim temporarily unfit to stand trial. Lawrence's Monday ruling clears the way for the case against the boy to proceed.

Ibrahim is charged with starting the May 3 fire in a garage. It destroyed four apartment buildings in the area.

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