Sunday, June 17, 2007

Woman, Man Guilty of Gross Sex Assaults

(Bangor, Maine) On Friday, a jury convicted a 46-year-old woman, Stephanie Stark, and a 49-year-old man, Peter Mills, of multiple counts of gross sexual assault of two women in 2005. Mills was also convicted of assaulting a third woman.

The eight women and four men of the jury found that Stark and Mills drugged the women in order to make them unable to resist sexual attacks.
All three victims in the case testified earlier this week that they believe they drank wine laced with some sort of drug that made them unable to resist the assaults. All three said one or both of the defendants subjected them to sexual acts, some of which involved sex toys and other objects. Each victim said she never consented to any of the sexual acts.

After the verdict, Michael Povich, Hancock County district attorney, praised the "three amazing and courageous women" for coming forward and filing criminal complaints against Mills and Stark.

Stephanie Stark & Peter Mills
Two of the women were 20 years old on June 16, 2005, when they went out to a Bar Harbor restaurant with Mills and Stark and then returned to Mills' Bar Harbor apartment. One woman said she blacked out after drinking wine Mills poured for her at his house, while the other said after she drank the same wine she started feeling hazy and oddly detached from her surroundings before she was sexually assaulted by Stark. Both women said they hurriedly left Mills' house feeling ill early the next morning after they awoke in Mills' bed and were sexually assaulted by him.

The third victim, who is 48 years old, testified that she was sexually assaulted by Mills and Stark after they came to her house in Surry on June 18, 2005.
After the verdict was read, Stark and Mills were taken away in handcuffs to await sentencing, tentatively scheduled for "sometime in the next few months."

Tip: Don Morgenstern

[Update 09/27/07]

From Bangor News:
Justice William S. Brodrick sentenced Peter Mills, 50, of Southwest Harbor, to 10 years in prison with none of the sentence suspended. Stephanie Stark, 45, of Bar Harbor, was sentenced to seven years in prison, also with none of it suspended.

On additional charges, each also received consecutive multi-year sentences that were suspended entirely, Mills for seven years and Stark for five. Each will serve three years of probation upon their release from prison but could go back behind bars for the duration of their suspended sentences if they violate any conditions of their probation.
Defense attorneys said they intend to appeal.

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