Nebraska man indicted for 1990 gross sexual assault in Maine

Posted Aug. 29, 2012, at 3:52 p.m.
Last modified Aug. 29, 2012, at 5:42 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — A Nebraska man was indicted Wednesday by the Penobscot County grand jury on two counts of gross sexual assault for acts that allegedly occurred in 1990.

The victim, now 30, reported the abuse by a male relative to police in 1994.

Clarence Cote, 63, of Nemaha, Neb., left the state when he learned he was being investigated, Penobscot County District Attorney R. Christopher Almy said Wednesday.

The victim, who was 8 when she was sexually assaulted by Cote, still wants her abuser to be charged, Almy said. The girl was living in the Lincoln area in 1990, the prosecutor said.

The young age of the victim and the fact that Cote fled the state exempts the alleged crime from Maine’s six-year statute of limitations.

State law says if the victim is under 16 years of age and the offender is older than 16, there is no time limit for bringing charges in cases of sexual assault or for unlawful sexual contact. Even if the age limit did not apply, the statute of limitations is placed on hold while a suspect or a defendant is out of state and cannot be located by authorities.

Almy said Wednesday he did not know how local authorities learned Cote was living in Nebraska.

Cote’s arraignment date has not been set and he has not been arrested.

If convicted, Cote faces up to 30 years in prison and a fine of $50,000.

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