Courts and Crime

AUGUSTA, Maine — A Litchfield woman faces a felony charge of aggravated sex trafficking for allegedly coercing a 17-year-old girl into prostitution.

Attorneys for 51-year-old Gretchen Patrick entered a plea of not guilty on her behalf in Augusta District Court on Wednesday to a misdemeanor charge alleging she promoted prostitution.

The recently added felony charge of aggravated sex trafficking will be handled later in Kennebec County Superior Court.

PORTLAND, Maine — A Westbrook woman who'd been accused of allowing her boyfriend to sexually assault a teenage female relative has been convicted of four of the six counts she faced.

Holly Morrison was convicted Wednesday of one felony count of gross sexual assault and three misdemeanor counts of endangering the welfare of a child, but was cleared of two counts of gross sexual assault.

The 14-year-old victim testified at trial, as did the 34-year-old Morrison's boyfriend, who had previously pleaded guilty to related charges.

AUGUSTA, Maine — A Clinton man has been sentenced to five years in prison for a series of offenses, including the theft of more than $100,000 worth of goods from a Benton antiques dealer.

Peter Corson on Tuesday was ordered to serve 18 months of his sentence with the remainder suspended, and two years of probation.

Prosecutors say the 49-year-old Corson stole items from the antique dealer's warehouse over a three-week period last year and hid them in the woods until he could retrieve them. He was caught after a surveillance camera was installed.

BANGOR, Maine — A man whose friend was fatally shot during a home invasion in Hermon two years ago has been sentenced to six years in prison.

Phillip McIntyre was also sentenced Tuesday in Penobscot County Court to four years of probation after pleading guilty to charges including to robbery, burglary and aggravated assault.

Prosecutors say the 22-year-old McIntyre was one of three people who broke into an apartment in February 2012 to steal drugs and money.

One of the men who lived there says he shot McIntyre and Robert Dellario in self-defense. Dellario died.

PORTLAND, Maine — A Harpswell man has been sentenced to serve more than five years in prison after pleading guilty to sexually molesting a young girl numerous times over two years starting when she was 11.

In addition to five and a half years behind bars, 39-year-old Amos Johnson was sentenced Tuesday to 17 years of probation after pleading guilty to two counts of gross sexual assault. As part of a plea deal, 30 counts were dismissed.

JACKMAN, Maine (AP) _ Federal officials say a Canadian man is facing charges after he tried to illegally bring his wife across the border into Maine.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers say they became suspicious last week when they found women's clothing in the vehicle of 41-year-old Pierre Poulin of St. Martin, Quebec, as he attempted to cross the border at Jackman. Border Patrol agents found his 27-year-old wife dressed in camouflage in the woods.

WINSLOW, Maine (AP) _ Police have charged a 30-year-old Showhegan man with stealing copper wire in central Maine.

The Winslow Police Department said Tuesday that Michael Grant has been arrested and charged with aggravated criminal mischief and felony theft. Grant was taken to the Kennebec County Jail and bail has not yet been set.

Police say thefts involving thousands of dollars of damage and stolen copper wire from Central Maine Power substations had been happening for several weeks in Winslow, Waterville, Augusta, Farmingdale and Winsor.

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) _ Maine Supreme Judicial Court is reaffirming the manslaughter conviction of a Belfast man found guilty of shooting his best friend.
    A judge in October 2012 sentenced then-21-year-old Luke Bryant to 15 years in prison with nine to serve and four years' probation. The judge also ordered Bryant to pay more than $3,000 in restitution and forfeit the gun used to kill 19-year-old Tyler Seaney.

BANGOR, Maine (AP) _ A Bucksport, Maine, woman will serve a sentence of more than 8 years for stealing nearly $3 million from a bank where she worked for eight years.

Lynn Bowden will serve eight years and one month in prison and must pay more than $3 million in restitution to Merrill Merchants Bank. She also received a five-year supervised release term. Bowden pleaded guilty in February in U.S. District Court in Bangor to embezzlement and tax charges.

ROCKLAND, Maine (AP) _ Prosecutors and a defense attorney for a man convicted of bashing his wife's head with a rock and pushing her off a cliff say the man's sentencing will likely take place next month.
    A Maine jury convicted 71-year-old Charles Black of six felonies on Monday. The top charge of attempted murder carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison. Defense attorney Walter McKee says he expects sentencing sometime in late August.

LEWISTON, Maine — Police moved quickly to make an arrest in a weekend convenience store robbery in Lewiston.

Police say 31-year-old Jacob Koch of Lewiston was arrested in connection with the robbery at Lewiston Variety at about 9 p.m. Sunday. He's charged with robbery and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

ROCKLAND, Maine (AP) _ A former Maine man has been convicted of bashing his wife's head with a rock and pushing her off a cliff in disputes over an affair and inheritance money.
    The couple, Charles and Lisa Black, had moved from Kansas to retire in coastal Maine. On the day of the fall in 2011, they'd argued about how he spent money from a $4 million inheritance from her father and over an affair he had.
    Prosecutors say 71-year-old Charles Black hit his wife with a rock before pushing her off Maiden Cliff. Both tumbled down the mountainside.

ROCKLAND, Maine (AP) _ A Maine jury is deliberating the fate of a man accused of bashing his wife's head with a rock and pushing her off a cliff.
    Authorities say Charles Black hit 55-year-old Lisa Zahn with the rock before pushing her off Maiden Cliff in Camden in 2011. Both survived after tumbling 800 feet down the mountainside.
    Prosecutors say Black and Zahn were having a dispute over how Black spent some of Zahn's inheritance.

OWENSBORO, Ky. (AP) _ A federal appeals court is set to hear the case of a Maine resident serving 30 years in prison for transporting a 13-year-old Owensboro girl across state lines to engage in sexual activity.
    The U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati has scheduled arguments for Aug. 5 in the case of 47-year-old Archie Whalen of Hancock County, Maine.
    A jury in Kentucky convicted Whalen in 2012 of taking the girl in 2009 from her home in Owensboro to Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. The girl was found a day after an Amber Alert was issued.

BELFAST, Maine (AP) _ A Maine man charged with killing a woman and seriously injuring her son has withdrawn his insanity defense and pleaded guilty under a deal with prosecutors.
    Under the deal, prosecutors are recommending a sentence of 50 years for Todd Gilday of Belfast. WZON-AM reported that Gilday pleaded guilty Monday to murder, attempted murder and elevated aggravated assault.