June 25, 2018
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Indian Island man charged with raping woman in Bangor, forcing her to ride bus to Calais

By Judy Harrison and Nok-Noi Ricker, BDN Staff

BANGOR, Maine — An Indian Island man who allegedly raped a Bangor woman, then forced her to ride on a bus with him to Calais remained Wednesday at the Penobscot County Jail unable to make $25,000 cash bail.

Shane Sapiel, 32, made his first court appearance on charges of gross sexual assault, a Class A crime, and aggravated assault, a Class B crime, in connection with what Superior Court Justice William Anderson called a “pretty vicious attack” on the 23-year-old victim with a knife on Sept. 2 at her Bangor apartment.

Anderson set bail at $25,000 cash as requested by the Penobscot County district attorney’s office. Conditions include no contact with the victim, not to be at her Hammond Street apartment building, no possession of dangerous weapons, including knives, and no use of alcohol or other intoxicants.

Bangor lawyer Larry Lunn, who represented Sapiel just for Wednesday’s appearance, told the judge that Sapiel had said he could not post any bail.

Sapiel did not enter pleas to the charges because he has not yet been indicted by the Penobscot County grand jury. He most likely will be indicted when the grand jury next meets on Sept. 26.

The victim and Sapiel had met the day before through a friend but did not know each other, Michael Roberts, deputy district attorney for Penobscot County, said after Sapiel’s court appearance Wednesday.

The victim told police Sapiel “forced his way into her Hammond Street apartment just after midnight on the 2nd of September,” Bangor police Sgt. Paul Edwards said in a statement issued Wednesday morning. “The victim reported that Sapiel assaulted her with a knife and also sexually assaulted her.”

Roberts said Wednesday afternoon outside the courthouse in an impromptu press conference that Sapiel threatened the victim with a knife, cut her on the face and threatened to kill her. In an effort to calm him down, she agreed to accompany him on a bus to Calais.

Once there, she was able to get away from Sapiel and went to the emergency room at Calais Regional Hospital, the prosecutor said. She was treated for her knife cuts and other injuries and released.

Sapiel was picked up by law enforcement on Sept. 5 in Washington County for violating his bail conditions and was sentenced to 48 hours in the county lockup for that offense. He was sent to Penobscot County Jail in Bangor on Sept. 7.

He was arrested Monday at the Penobscot County Jail on the Bangor charges after he was transferred from the Washington County Jail.

Sapiel also was wanted for about $900 in unpaid fines in Penobscot County and has a warrant out of Hancock County for failing to appear on a theft charge and violating his conditions of release, jail officials said.

He is scheduled to plead guilty Friday to domestic violence assault and criminal threatening, both misdemeanors, in Ellsworth District Court, according to the Penobscot County district attorney’s office.

If convicted on the new charges, Sapiel faces up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000 on the gross sexual assault charge, and up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000 on the aggravated assault charge.

Sapiel has a long criminal history that dates to when he was 16 and was convicted of running from police and driving without a license, according to Bangor Daily News court listings.

He also has two convictions for stealing drugs, theft, possessing marijuana and for twice violating his bail conditions. He was arrested last year on five outstanding warrants, all for failure to pay fines, and Penobscot County Jail officials found diverted prescription pills in his pockets, the BDN archives state.

Bangor police Detective Larry Morrill is the lead investigator on the case.

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