May 21, 2018
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Wife will serve no jail time for assault on woman having an affair with her husband

By Stephen Betts, BDN Staff

ROCKLAND, Maine — A 30-year-old Rockland woman will serve no jail time for assaulting the woman who was having an affair with her husband.

Justice Jeffrey Hjelm said the assault by Jessica M. Arsenault against the other woman last year in Thomaston was an isolated and situational offense. He said he was not persuaded that jail time was required for this crime.

Instead, the judge imposed Wednesday afternoon in Knox County Superior Court a 30-day suspended jail term and ordered her to be on administrative release for a year. Administrative release is similar to probation.

Assistant District Attorney Jonathan Liberman had sought a 180-day jail term with all but 10 days suspended and one year of administrative release.

A jury convicted Arsenault last week of assault but the jurors also found her not guilty of five other charges including burglary, aggravated criminal trespass, domestic violence, criminal threatening and criminal mischief.

Liberman said this was not a simple assault, noting that the 21-year-old victim had some hair pulled out of her head by Arsenault, a bruise around her left eye, and tenderness in her ribs from the assault. The prosecutor said in addition to the physical injuries, the woman suffered an emotional toll.

The victim witness advocate read a letter by the victim to the court. The victim said she feels uneasy when people knock on her door and arrive without warning. She said she is concerned what will happen when she gives birth to the baby she is carrying by the woman’s husband.

Defense attorney Robert Rubin of Rockport had asked for no jail time, saying this incident was completely out of character for Arsenault . He noted she grabbed the other woman by the hair after entering the woman’s bedroom and seeing her husband naked and the other woman on the bed in her bathrobe, both smirking and laughing.

He said Arsenault has seen a therapist to determine if she had anger management problems and the therapist determined there were no such issues. The woman also has volunteered her services to help women who have suffered domestic violence.

The victim and her roommate had testified that Arsenault pushed her way into the Thomaston apartment, broke the bedroom door, then attacked her by pulling her hair and punching and kicking her.

The prosecution acknowledged that Arsenault’s husband had lied to both his wife and his girlfriend, telling the latter that he was separated and in the process of divorce. The incident occurred shortly after the birth of a child by his wife. The former girlfriend is expecting his child late this summer.

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