May 27, 2018
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Rockland woman on trial accused of assaulting woman having affair with her husband

By Stephen Betts, BDN Staff

ROCKLAND, Maine — The trial of a 30-year-old Rockland woman accused of assaulting a woman having an affair with her husband is expected to go to the jury Friday.

Jessica M. Arsenault is charged with burglary, aggravated criminal trespass, domestic violence assault, assault, criminal mischief and criminal threatening.

The incident occurred Dec. 14, 2011, in Thomaston. The trial began Thursday in Knox County Superior Court in Rockland.

The alleged victim of the crimes, a 21-year-old Thomaston woman, testified Thursday that Arsenault struck her more than once after entering her home and coming into the bedroom. The woman said she fell and smacked her face on the floor when Arsenault assaulted her.

Detective Dwight Burtis of the Knox County Sheriff’s Office testified the victim had bumps on her forehead and under her eye.

Arsenault was arrested that night by the sheriff’s office. She was indicted by a grand jury in January.

The defendant’s husband, Phil Arsenault, testified for the defense.

He said that he and his wife had separated and he had told her he was staying at various places including overnights at the alleged victim’s house before Dec. 14. He admitted having a romantic relationship with the woman.

Arsenault said he had told his wife that he and the other woman were just friends and he was sleeping on her couch. But on the morning of Dec. 14, his wife called his cellphone while he was with the other woman and she then came over to the apartment. He said that he opened the bedroom door to see the roommate of the alleged victim open the door of the apartment and his wife enter the apartment. Under cross-examination by Assistant District Attorney Jonathan Liberman, the husband denied allegations that his wife pushed her way past the roommate.

He said he tried to lock the bedroom door but he was unable to before she came into the bedroom.

He said his wife did not strike the other woman but grabbed her by the hair and the two “kind of danced around” until they all fell on the bed. He said he fell on both women.

He denied that his wife threatened to kill the other woman.

He told the jury that he and his wife are back together.

Attorney Robert Rubin is representing the defendant.

Justice Jeffrey Hjelm is presiding over the trial.

A jury, including an alternate, of seven men and six women is hearing the case. A doctor who treated the alleged victim is expected to testify Friday morning.

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