York County ministers indicted — one for falsely billing MaineCare, other for possessing child pornography

Posted June 12, 2013, at 2:49 p.m.

ALFRED, Maine — Two ministers have been indicted by the York County grand jury.

One is charged with falsely billing MaineCare for counseling sessions at a faith-based center in Limerick. The other is charged with possession of child pornography.

Ronald Petersen, 56, of Bridgton is charged with theft by unauthorized taking of more than $10,000.

James Napier, 61, of Alfred is charged with 29 counts of possession of sexually explicit materials of a child younger than 12, Class C crimes, and two counts of possession of sexually explicit material of a child under the age of 16, Class D crimes.

Both men were indicted June 6 by the York County grand jury. The list of indictments was made public Monday.

Petersen was associated until about 18 months ago with the Hope Recovery Center, which was affiliated with and located near the Faith Christian Center in Limerick, according to the Maine Attorney General’s Office.

If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $20,000 and could be ordered to pay restitution.

Assistant Attorney General Leanne Robbin, who is prosecuting the case, said Monday that Petersen was an associate pastor at the church. He provided substance abuse treatment between Sept. 1, 2010, and Jan. 30, 2012, at the Hope Recovery Center. Robbin declined to say how much Petersen is alleged to have billed fraudulently to MaineCare.

Napier was associated with New Beginning Christian Mission and had been associated with the mission for five years when he was arrested on Aug. 31, 2012, according to a previously published report. The mission ministers to poor and homeless people in downtown Biddeford.

He remains free on $500 cash bail.

If convicted, Napier faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 on the Class C crimes and up to a year in prison and a fine of up to $2,000 on the Class D crimes.

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