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Man charged in UM stabbing out on bail

Bangor Daily News | BDN
Bangor Daily News | BDN
Christoper Girouard, 20, of Sebago looks to family members in the courtroom at the Penobscot Judicial Center as lawyer Caroline Adams represents him on Monday, Jan. 25, 2010. Girouard is charged with felony aggravated assault in connection with a stabbing at the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity house in Orono around 2 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2010. BANGOR DAILY NEWS PHOTO BY KEVIN BENNETT
By Nok-Noi Ricker, BDN Staff

BANGOR, Maine — A University of Maine fraternity member arrested Saturday for stabbing a fellow student in the back three times during a drunken scuffle outside a College Avenue fraternity house, was released after his first appearance in court Monday.

The victim was hospitalized, but has since been released.

Christopher Girouard, 20, of Sebago was arrested by UMaine public safety officers at the Delta Tau Delta fraternity house around 2 a.m. Saturday, a short distance from the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity house, known as FIJI, where the stabbing took place.

He was charged with felony aggravated assault, which carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000, and was taken to Penobscot County Jail in Bangor where he was held until his court appearance.

Justice William Anderson set bail at $10,000 unsecured for Girouard and ordered him to reside at his parents’ Sebago home, Assistant District Attorney James Diehl said.

A small group of Girouard’s family, which included his mother, sat in the Penobscot Judicial Center courtroom during his first appearance.

“He’s out,” a jail official said Monday afternoon.

The judge also barred Girouard from contact with the 20-year-old male victim and several witnesses to the assault, but is allowing him to return to campus with a police escort one time to get his things.

University of Maine Dean of Students Robert Dana said Girouard has been suspended and will not be allowed back on campus.

“A suspension does apply to online courses,” Joe Carr, university spokesman, said Monday responding to questions about whether Girouard would be able to continue any Web-based classes he was enrolled in.

The victim, a FIJI fraternity member who does not live at the fraternity house, was taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor after the stabbing and needed 22 stitches, Jake LaRoche, Phi Gamma Delta UMaine chapter president, said Monday.

“He’s doing fine,” he said. “He came to a meeting yesterday and is in pretty good spirits considering what happened.”

The incident reportedly occurred when FIJI members were trying to get Girouard and another visitor to leave the fraternity house, Carr has said. Once outside on the sidewalk, Girouard allegedly pulled a knife and stabbed the victim in the back three times, he said.

“Alcohol was a factor,” Carr said.

After the confrontation, Girouard took off on foot, but was tracked by a dog from Penobscot County Sheriff’s Department, which assisted Orono, Old Town and UMaine police.

Stephen Smith was appointed as his attorney, Diehl said.

Girouard was convicted of being a minor possessing liquor in August 2009 and was sentenced to pay a $200 fine for that offense, according to court reports printed in the Bangor Daily News.

He is scheduled to be back in court to face the Class B aggravated assault charges in early April.

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