Suspect pleads not guilty in Passadumkeag sex assault

Posted Dec. 29, 2008, at 8:20 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — The Passadumkeag man accused of breaking into a neighbor’s home and sexually assaulting the 60-year-old woman who lived there on Oct. 29 pleaded not guilty Monday in Penobscot County Superior Court to charges of gross sexual assault and burglary.

Derwin “Tiger” Springer Jr., 38, will be held at the Penobscot County Jail pending resolution of the case unless his attorney requests a bail hearing, Superior Court Justice John Nivison ruled after accepting the defendant’s pleas.

A tentative trial date was set for March 2.

Michael Roberts, deputy district attorney for Penobscot County, asked the judge to schedule the trial as soon as possible because the victim has a medical condition that might make her unavailable for testimony in the future.

The prosecutor declined to describe the woman’s medical condition, but said it usually takes six months to a year for a jury trial to be scheduled in Penobscot County after a suspect has been indicted.

Defense attorney Marvin Glazier of Bangor told Nivison that a jury-waived trial in Roberts’ time frame was possible, but that he would need more time to prepare for a jury trial.

The victim is scheduled to give her deposition next month, Roberts said.

Decisions about how to proceed most likely will be made after that, he said.

Glazier declined to comment on the case after the arraignment.

Springer most likely had known his victim for years, according to a previous Bangor Daily News story. The woman lives less than half a mile from Springer’s parents, where he was living in October.

Physical evidence from a rape kit assembled at the hospital where the woman was taken matched Springer’s DNA, according to a state police affidavit filed in Superior Court in Bangor. Springer’s DNA was obtained from an oral swab police collected from him during an interview, according to court documents.

Springer was indicted a week ago by the Penobscot County grand jury. If convicted, he faces up to 30 years in prison on the sexual assault charge and up to 10 years in prison on the burglary charge.

Roberts said after Springer entered his pleas that although state police still are investigating the Nov. 26 report of a separate home invasion in Passadumkeag, Springer is not a suspect in that case. A Goulds Ridge Road woman told police that an unidentified man forced his way into her home on Nov. 25.

“There is no connection that we are aware of between that incident and Mr. Springer,” he said.

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