ELLSWORTH, Maine — After a four-day trial in Hancock County Superior Court, a former Gouldsboro resident has been found guilty of assaulting his wife.
Vladek Filler, 39, was found guilty Thursday of one count of gross sexual assault and two counts of assault in connection with attacks that occurred in the couple’s Gouldsboro home in December 2005 and April 2007. With the felony gross sexual assault conviction, Filler could face up to 30 years behind bars.
Filler was acquitted of other charges of gross sexual assault and assault. He remains free on $50,000 surety bail pending his sentencing, which has not yet been scheduled.
According to investigators, Filler’s wife alleged that her husband forced her to have sex against her will when he became angry. On one occasion, on April 6, 2007, after she came home from getting her hair cut, Filler became angry with his wife for using his bank account to pay for the haircut and for using the car when he had plans to use it, according to court documents. Filler then allegedly raped his wife on a clothes dryer in a bathroom of the house, during which he called her names such as “parasite” and “lame horse,” the documents indicate.
Mary Kellett, Hancock County assistant district attorney, said Friday that the jury deliberated for nine hours over two days before finding Filler guilty of the attack. Filler also was found guilty of physically assaulting his wife on Dec. 15, 2005, and on April 20, 2007.
“I’m very pleased with the outcome,” Kellett said. “It is an appropriate outcome.”
Kellett said Filler is originally from Ukraine but moved to the United States with his family as a young boy. Filler met his wife, who grew up in Guatemala, when they went to college together in the United States.
Filler, owner and operator of a T-shirt company, and his wife moved in 2004 from Massachusetts to Gouldsboro, Kellett said. After they moved to Maine, she said, Filler became increasingly abusive toward his wife and pressured her into quitting her job so she would spend more time at home, where he ran his company.
Filler’s control of his wife manifested itself in his temper and in sexual assaults, according to Kellett.
“It was sexual punishment, so it was very hard for her to talk about,” the prosecutor said. “It was punitive and angry.”
The wife eventually talked to police and Filler was charged with gross sexual assault in late April 2007.
Kellett said Filler and his wife are in the process of getting divorced. Filler has been living with their two sons, ages 3 and 12, and his mother in suburban Atlanta for the past several months, she said.
The victim is still living in the Ellsworth area, according to Kellett.
Filler’s attorney, Daniel Pileggi of Ellsworth, said Friday that he plans to pursue having Filler’s jury conviction overturned.
“I’m disappointed in the felony conviction,” Pileggi said. “We’re examining our options and will be filing motions shortly.”
Pileggi said he made a motion for acquittal during the trial but that Justice Kevin Cuddy has not made a decision on that motion.
The defense attorney also said he believes there may be grounds for a mistrial. He declined to go into detail about why he thinks either a bench acquittal by Cuddy or a mistrial declaration would be appropriate in his client’s case.
Of the multiple charges his client faced, Pileggi said he believed the charge that stemmed from the alleged April 6, 2007, attack was the most difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. He said there was no physical or forensic evidence to support the gross sexual assault charge in that alleged attack.
“The fact that they picked that one puzzles me,” Pileggi said of the jurors.