Longtime state trooper convicted of 12 sex crimes in Bath courtroom

By Christopher Cousins, BDN Staff
Posted April 13, 2012, at 5:46 p.m.

BATH, Maine — Maine State Police Trooper Gregory Vrooman was convicted Friday of 12 sex crimes against a girl less than 14 years old.

The reading of the verdicts was moved from Lincoln County Superior Court in Wiscasset to Sagadahoc Superior Court in Bath following the physical assault against him on Thursday that halted court proceedings moments before the jury was to enter the courtroom to render its verdict.

Vrooman, a 24-year veteran of the Maine State Police who has been on unpaid administrative leave since his arrest in November 2010, was convicted of four counts of unlawful sexual touching, four counts of unlawful sexual contact and four counts of assault.

The jury acquitted Vrooman on the count of tampering with a witness, according to a source in the court clerk’s office who confirmed the verdicts just before the office closed on Friday. The source did not want to be identified because she had received the verdicts in an email but had not yet seen official court documentation. A Friday afternoon report by the Lincoln County News corroborated the information about Vrooman’s convictions.

Vrooman, 46, of Nobleboro was read the jury’s verdicts Friday afternoon in the Bath courtroom. The trial ground to a halt Thursday morning just before the jury was going to announce its verdict when Vrooman was assaulted by a family member of his victim in the courtroom of Lincoln County Superior Court in Wiscasset.

Vrooman was hospitalized with injuries to his face and the alleged assailant, William Harrison, 39, of Charlestown, Mass., was arrested and charged with assault. Harrison was released on $5,000 bail from Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset late Thursday.

Lincoln County District Attorney Geoffrey Rushlau had said earlier Friday it would be up to the court to decide whether Thursday’s altercation could interrupt the legal process.

“That’s a decision for a trial judge,” he said. “It potentially gives the defendant another avenue for appeal, but I can’t personally see that that would be successful. [The assault] certainly did disrupt the ordinary course of a jury trial.”

Neither Rushlau nor the prosecutor in the case, Assistant District Attorney Deborah Cashman, could be reached Friday afternoon for comment. Steven Peterson, Vrooman’s defense attorney, also could not be reached on Friday.

Vrooman’s assaults on the girl occurred between December 2009 and November 2010. He faces up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine for each of the unlawful sexual contact charges, which are Class C crimes. Each count of assault and unlawful sexual touching, which are Class D crimes under Maine law, is punishable by up to a year in jail and a $2,000 fine.

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/04/13/news/midcoast/longtime-state-trooper-convicted-of-12-sex-crimes-in-bath-courtroom/ printed on July 24, 2014