ROCKLAND, Maine — The Maine Supreme Judicial Court this week affirmed a Rockland man’s conviction on charges he sexually assaulted his daughter.
Salvador T. Poblete appealed a Knox County Superior Court jury’s conviction of him in December 2008 on charges of gross sexual assault against his then teenage daughter in 2006. After his conviction he was sentenced to six years in prison with all but three years suspended and four years probation.
Poblete appealed the conviction, arguing that the court erred by denying his motion to suppress police statements, that the court-provided interpreter’s translation services were inadequate, and that evidence presented at trial was insufficient to support his conviction, according to court documents.
The Law Court ruled the police statements Poblete wanted to suppress “were appropriately introduced at trial” because the information was given by Poblete voluntarily while he was not in police custody.
The court also said the Superior Court was vigilant in finding Poblete an interpreter and that Poblete didn’t properly state “how the alleged inadequacy in the interpretation made his trial fundamentally unfair.”
The court also found that the evidence was sufficient to prove he was guilty of sexual assault.
The court did change Poblete’s status from a “lifetime registrant” to a “10-year registrant” pursuant with the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act. This is because he never had committed a violent sexual act, nor did he have a prior conviction.
Poblete lived on Rankin Street. In 2007 he fled to his native Philippines. Police obtained a U.S. Marshal Service warrant for his arrest, and he was returned to the U.S. and apprehended in Los Angeles in May 2007. He was then kept in custody at the Knox County Jail in Rockland.
Poblete has been free on bail throughout his appeal and will remain free until the court orders that he turn himself in, District Attorney Geoffrey Rushlau said Wednesday.