ELLSWORTH, Maine — A jury has been selected in the retrial of a former Gouldsboro man accused of sexually assaulting his wife.
Vladek Filler’s new trial is expected to get under way Tuesday morning, May 24, in Hancock County Superior Court.
Filler, 41, who now lives in suburban Atlanta, was tried and convicted in 2009 of one count of gross sexual assault and two counts of assault against his then wife. The trial judge, and then the state supreme court, ordered a retrial in the case after Filler’s attorney filed an objection to comments that Assistant Hancock County District Attorney Mary Kellett made during her closing arguments.
Filler has a new defense attorney for his new trial and a different prosecutor, First Assistant District Attorney Paul Cavanaugh, is trying the case. The parties appeared in a Bangor courtroom earlier this month to present oral arguments about a motion to dismiss two of the charges, gross sexual assault and one count of assault, and another motion to move the trial out of Hancock County, among others. Justice Robert Murray, who will preside over Filler’s retrial, denied the dismissal and change-of-venue motions.
Court officials were concerned that intense media coverage of the case — which has been generated in part by supporters of Filler who claim that Kellett handled the case inappropriately — might affect their ability to select and seat a jury. Nonetheless, a jury was picked successfully in Hancock County this past Monday.
Filler’s supporters claim his wife fabricated the assault allegations as part of a custody dispute over their two sons, who now live with their father in Georgia. After his first trial, Filler was granted custody of his two sons in the couple’s subsequent divorce.