Courts and Crime

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.

AUGUSTA, Maine — A Richmond woman is facing charges after allegedly leaving the scene of an accident she was involved in on Interstate 95 in Augusta.

State police say 29-year-old Adam Brezynka of Winslow was driving a pickup truck south just after noon Sunday when he attempted to pass a Jeep.

Police say the Jeep drifted into Breznyka's lane, forcing him to swerve to avoid colliding. He lost control and rolled several times.

BANGOR, Maine — Three teenage boys have been charged with assaulting staff members at a hospital in Bangor.

Bangor police say the teens attacked four employees at Acadia Hospital on Thursday night. The staff members were treated for minor injuries and discharged from the hospital.

Authorities haven't released details on what sparked the assaults.

Two 14-year-old boys, from Bangor and Jay, are charged with felony aggravated assault and are being detained. A 17-year-old boy from Bangor has been summoned for four misdemeanor assault charges and remains detained.

LEWISTON, Maine (AP) _ A Maine teacher faces federal charges of aiding drug dealers.

The Sun Journal  reports federal and local drug agents arrested 43-year-old Noel Thibodeau on Tuesday and charged him with maintaining drug-involved premises. Thibodeau lives in Lewiston and is a Spanish and French teacher at Coastal Studies for Girls in Freeport.

LEWISTON, Maine — A Maine teacher faces federal charges of aiding drug dealers.

The Sun Journal reports federal and local drug agents arrested 43-year-old Noel Thibodeau on Tuesday and charged him with maintaining drug-involved premises. Thibodeau lives in Lewiston and is a Spanish and French teacher at Coastal Studies for Girls in Freeport.

U.S. District court documents say drug investigators found Thibodeau had been allowing drug dealers to work out of his home since early 2013. Documents do not say if he was compensated.

PORTLAND, Maine — A Maine judge has ordered state officials to release a transcript of a 911 call made by a woman whose husband was killed by a Cumberland County sheriff's deputy in April.

The Portland Press Herald reports that Justice Thomas Warren ordered the state Tuesday to give the transcript to the newspaper, which requested it under Maine's Freedom of Access Act. The state denied the request, and the newspaper appealed.

The judge gave the state 21 days to appeal his ruling.

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