Lincoln native to be extradited from Nebraska on sex assault charges

Posted Dec. 04, 2012, at 7:06 p.m.

LINCOLN, Maine — A Lincoln native wanted on charges he sexually assaulted an 8-year-old girl in 1990 was ordered extradited to Maine after being taken into custody in Nebraska on Tuesday, officials said.

Clarence Cote, 63, of Nemaha, Neb., was taken into custody without incident during a previously scheduled court appearance in his hometown at about 1 p.m. CST, said Brent Lottman, sheriff of the Nemaha County Sheriff’s Department. Nebraska police had a governor’s warrant seeking his extradition to Maine, Lottman said.

Cote originally was arrested in mid-September after being indicted on two counts of gross sexual assault by the Penobscot County grand jury in August.

He was released in Nebraska on bail in September after he refused to waive extradition, according to Michael Roberts, deputy district attorney for Penobscot County.

The victim, now 30, reported the abuse by a male relative to police in 1994 and Cote left the state when he learned he was being investigated, Penobscot County District Attorney R. Christopher Almy has 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.

Roberts said he expected Cote to be before a judge in Maine by the end of the year. A date for Cote’s arraignment has not been set, the prosecutor said Tuesday.

Lottman called Tuesday’s proceedings a formality and declined to comment on when Cote would be sent back to Maine.

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