Despite victim recanting, Cushing man pleads guilty to domestic assault

Posted Nov. 26, 2012, at 5:50 p.m.

ROCKLAND, Maine — A 43-year-old Cushing man will spend up to two years in prison after pleading guilty to assaulting a woman even though she later recanted.

Jonathan Hynd pleaded guilty Monday in Knox County Superior Court to felony domestic violence assault. Charges of criminal mischief and obstructing the report of a crime were dismissed in exchange for his plea to the assault.

Sentencing was delayed until mid-December at which time the defense can argue for less time. Hynd will be held without bail but Justice Jeffrey Hjelm agreed to drop a no-contact provision that had been previously set. The bail change was made at the request of the victim, who has since said the assault did not occur, according to the prosecutor.

The incident occurred Aug. 2 in Cushing. Assistant District Attorney Christopher Fernald said that the woman called 911 to report the assault.

Despite the victim being uncooperative, Fernald said the state had planned to go to trial using a recording of the 911 call and testimony of the Knox County Sheriff’s Office deputy who responded and saw the victim’s condition.

According to Fernald, Hynd grabbed the woman by her shirt and pulled her out of a pickup truck she was sitting in. In an affidavit filed by police at the time of the incident, the woman said Hynd had just erupted over nothing and when she tried to leave he stopped her by pulling her out of the vehicle. He also grabbed her telephone and broke it when she called police, according to the affidavit.

Another witness to the assault also has become uncooperative, saying he is paid by Hynd to care for his mother.

The assault was classified as a felony because Hynd had an aggravated assault conviction in 2007 and an assault conviction in 2007.

Justice Hjelm questioned Hynd and defense attorney Christian Foster about whether Hynd wanted to plead guilty. Hynd said he believed the state had enough evidence for a jury to convict him.

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