June 23, 2018
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Rapist faces assault claim from woman

By Bill Trotter, BDN Staff

ELLSWORTH, Maine — A former Mount Desert Island resident found guilty in 2007 of raping three women is being sued by another woman who claims he physically assaulted her four years ago.

Peter Mills, 51, was sentenced in September 2007 to serve 10 years behind bars after he and another woman, Stephanie Stark, 47, of Bar Harbor, were accused of drugging and raping three women in a three-day span in June 2005.

Mills is expected to appear today in Hancock County Superior Court to face civil charges that he sexually harassed and physically assaulted Patty A. Smith, 44, of Mount Desert at a Southwest Harbor boatyard in July 2005. Mills was Smith’s supervisor at Manset Yacht Service in 2004 and 2005.

Smith is not one of the women involved in the earlier criminal case against Mills and Stark.

Smith also is suing the boatyard and its owner, Robert Brown, who she claims was negligent by not taking action against Mills after Smith complained to Brown that Mills was sexually harassing her at work. Brown, Manset Yacht Service and Mills all are named as defendants in the same civil suit.

Brown, through his attorney Daniel Pileggi of Ellsworth, denies the claims and has filed a countersuit against Smith.

The nonjury civil trial is scheduled to begin this morning in Superior Court in Ellsworth.

According to Smith’s complaint, Mills sexually harassed her on the job by making explicit sexual remarks about her. She claims that she talked to Brown about Mills but that Brown dismissed her concerns and did nothing to stop the alleged harassment.

Smith accuses Mills of physically assaulting her on July 14, 2005. Smith left her job at the boatyard a few days later, on July 19 of that year, according to documents on file in Hancock County Superior Court.

Smith, who has been receiving counseling since the alleged incident, says she suffers from emotional distress because of the harassment and assault. She is seeking $26,000 in the lawsuit plus whatever damages and fees the court might deem appropriate.

In Brown’s countersuit, he claims Smith “has repeatedly made false statements” about the defendants. He accuses Smith of defamation, of intentionally interfering in the boatyard’s contractual relationships, and of malicious misuse of the legal system.

Brown is seeking unspecified punitive damages against Smith.

Mills, who has been serving his rape sentence at Maine State Prison in Warren, is representing himself in the civil lawsuit.

Mills and Stark were convicted in June 2007 of sexually assaulting three women. Two of the victims in that case claimed they were assaulted at a Bar Harbor apartment after going out to a Bar Harbor restaurant with Mills and Stark on June 16, 2005. The third claimed she was assaulted by Mills and Stark after they came to visit her at her house in Surry two days later.

Stark was sentenced to serve seven years behind bars after being convicted of assaulting two of the women.

Stark is not named or mentioned in Smith’s civil lawsuit.

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