ELLSWORTH, Maine — An Orland man will serve a one-year jail sentence after breaking into the home of a 63-year-old woman in the same town.
William Kepner, now 31, was found guilty of felony charges of aggravated criminal trespass and unlawful sexual contact in a Jan. 26 decision by Justice Ann Murray. He was found not guilty of a burglary charge. On. Jan. 30, he was sentenced to a four-year prison sentence, with all but one year suspended.
Kepner waived his right to a jury trial in June 2012, and his bench trial was continually postponed until Jan. 10, when Murray heard the case. Kepner had been free on $1,500 unsecured bail since July 22, 2011. He will begin his jail sentence on Feb. 13.
Early the morning of July 17, 2011 — his 30th birthday — Kepner broke into the victim’s home. The woman was asleep on the couch at the time Kepner broke in, according to Assistant District Attorney Mary Kellett, who prosecuted the case.
The victim awoke to see Kepner standing between her and a coffee table, Kellet said. Kepner then subjected the woman to unwanted sexual contact with his hands.
Kepner later attempted to persuade the woman into other sexual acts, Kellett said, and the woman played along, telling Kepner she would continue after she used the bathroom. She got up from the couch and headed for the door in an attempt to escape, Kellett said, but Kepner grabbed her and directed her to the bathroom.
When the woman got inside, she locked herself in and “waited, terrified,” Kellett said, until Kepner lost interest and left her home. She then fled to a neighbor’s home and called the police.
A forensic investigation revealed the woman’s DNA on Kepner’s fingers.
Kepner’s attorney, Jeff Toothaker, had tried to convince the court that Kepner wasn’t criminally responsible for his actions.
“He has no recall of the event, but DNA evidence strongly supports the state’s case,” Toothaker wrote in a March 31, 2012, court document.
Toothaker wrote that Kepner was prescribed Lyrica and hydrocodone at the time of the crime, and had also drank alcohol. “A possible drug-induced stupor is suspected,” he wrote.
Kellett said the state was pleased with the verdict and the sentence. She also said sex crimes under circumstances such as these — with an unknown attacker breaking into a victim’s home — are rare, and that most sex crimes occur between parties known to each other.
Unlawful sexual contact and aggravated criminal trespass are both Class C crimes, punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
Follow Mario Moretto on Twitter at @riocarmine.