Music teacher given 28 years for sex crimes

Posted Jan. 28, 2010, at 11:09 a.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 11:48 a.m.

ELLSWORTH, Maine — A former music teacher from Blue Hill was sentenced Wednesday in Hancock County Superior Court to serve 28 years behind bars for sexually molesting five girls between the ages of 10 and 14.

Theodore S. Stanislaw, 51, either gave music lessons to or was family friends with the victims in the case, according to Hancock County Assistant District Attorney Mary Kellett.

Stanislaw has a 1982 conviction in New York state for sexually molesting a girl who was younger than 11 years old, the prosecutor said Thursday. He was 23 years old at the time of the previous offense, she said.

On Wednesday in Hancock County Superior Court, Stanislaw entered nine guilty pleas and was sentenced on each conviction. On Thursday, Stanislaw’s sentence was revisited in the same courtroom in order to clarify the fines, probation and the suspended part of Stanislaw’s sentence.

Justice Kevin Cuddy said Thursday in court that he was sentencing Stanislaw to nine years in prison for each of three Class B counts of unlawful sexual contact. The sentences will be served consecutively, for a total of 27 years.

Cuddy also sentenced Stanislaw to three years in prison with all but two years suspended on one Class C count of unlawful sexual contact, for a grand total of 30 years with two of those years suspended, meaning Stanislaw will spend 28 years in prison. The fourth unlawful sexual contact count was a lesser charge because of the age of one of the victims. Included in the overall 30-year sentence are concurrent 30-day sentences on four counts of assault and one count of unlawful sexual touching.

The judge also ordered Stanislaw to serve four years of probation, to be served after his scheduled release from prison in 2038, and imposed $1,500 in fines, which are due to be paid within 90 days of his release. Cuddy ordered Stanislaw to register as a sex offender, to avoid contact with the victims and their families, and to have no contact with anyone under age 16.

Immediately after Thursday’s proceeding, Stanislaw blew two kisses to three family members seated in the courtroom gallery as he was led away in handcuffs and shackles. Aside from court staff, attorneys and a reporter, there was no one else in the courtroom.

According to Kellett, the victims, their families and friends attended Wednesday’s session.

Stanislaw’s attorney, Glen Porter of Bangor, declined Thursday to comment either on the sentence or on the likelihood that his client will pursue an appeal.

Kellett said after Thursday’s proceeding that Stanislaw made an open plea on Wednesday, admitting his guilt to the judge without receiving any recommendations in exchange for what his sentence might be. He had been offered a deal last summer that would have resulted in him spending less time in prison, she said, but Stanislaw sought to avoid having to spend any time behind bars.

“That position has been the defendant’s position throughout [the case],” Kellett said. “We couldn’t find any common ground.”

She said she was “pretty sure” Stanislaw did not have to spend any time behind bars in 1982 as a result of his conviction in New York state.

Kellett said the facts of the Blue Hill case came out last year after one of the victims told a teacher at her school about the abuse. Some of the incidents, which occurred between 2004 and 2008, occurred at Stanislaw’s house while his wife was at work, and he was either giving voice or piano lessons or was being assisted by one of the victims with looking after his young son, Kellett said.

Other incidents took place at a local church during musical lessons and some occurred in his car, she said.

“It took awhile for things to come out because this guy was so well-trusted,” Kellett said of the accusations. “He was friends with their parents. The amount of harm this guy caused is huge.”

One of the victims, a former voice student of Stanislaw’s, told the judge at Wednesday’s sentencing that she has been unable to sing since she was abused by her instructor, according to the prosecutor.

Kellett said the overall length of the sentence imposed by the judge is appropriate for a repeat sex offender such as Stanislaw. She said it can be tricky trying to determine whether a defendant might benefit from psychological counseling and therefore whether more of the sentence should be suspended so the defendant can seek rehabilitation outside of prison.

“[The judge] wanted to protect the community from Mr. Stanislaw,” the prosecutor said of the overall 30-year sentence. “It’s a fair call either way. Sex offenders are so hard to treat.”

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