February 22, 2018
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Former Bear assistant ordered to pay $600 fine

By Judy Harrison, BDN Staff

BANGOR, Maine — The former associate head coach of the University of Maine men’s basketball team last month pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor assault charge and was ordered to pay a $600 fine.

Michael Burden, 36, of Goldsboro, N.J., did not appear in 3rd District Court in Bangor on Sept 8, according to his attorney, Jeffrey Silverstein of Bangor.

Silverstein entered the plea on his client’s behalf.

A no contest plea results in a conviction just as a guilty plea would.

In a plea agreement with the Penobscot County District Attorney’s Office, a second assault charge and one count of unlawful sexual touching were dismissed.

Burden faced up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $2,000 on each count.

Silverstein said Tuesday that Burden is living in his home state and considering his career options.

Burden resigned two days after he allegedly assaulted two female UMaine students, a 21-year-old soccer player and a 20-year-old woman, in the early hours of Sunday, May 10.

Graduation ceremonies at the university were held on Saturday, May 9.

The 21-year-old woman told police that she left the 103 Ultra Lounge on Park Street just before the nightclub closed at 2 a.m. and was walking down Park Street when she realized she did not have her cell phone. The woman told police that she thought she had dropped it while taking a shortcut behind an apartment, so she retraced her steps.

While looking for the phone, a man the woman said she recognized as Burden approached her, according to Orono police Capt. Josh Ewing.

“He offered to help her and began making advances, which led to the charges of unlawful sexual contact,” Ewing said the day after the alleged incident took place. While the alleged assault was happening, “one of her friends walked by and she yelled to the friend,” who came over to assist the crying woman.

“While standing with the two girls, he starts pawing at [the second woman] and she pushes him away,” Ewing said in May.

The two reported the alleged incident to police at 3:19 a.m. after they returned to one of the women’s apartments.

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