Accused firefighter now charged with tampering

Posted Jan. 28, 2009, at 11:08 a.m.
Last modified Feb. 13, 2011, at 10:43 a.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — A Maine firefighter accused of sexually abusing two teenage girls who participated in a youth firefighter program now stands accused of victim tampering.

Craig Rawnsley of North Yarmouth pleaded not guilty to the new charge on Tuesday. He has been on paid administrative leave from the Portland Fire Department since his arrest on Oct. 6.

Police say the 41-year-old man sexually abused two girls who participated in Cumberland’s Fire Explorers program, which provides training for people between of 14 and 21.

Defense lawyer Thom Hallett says the tampering charge stems from Rawnsley realizing while driving that the two girls were in a car in front of his. He says Rawnsley called police to report that he’d inadvertently violated bail conditions.

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