Lifetime sex offender from Hermon charged with gross sexual assault of 5-year-old

Posted July 10, 2013, at 7:11 p.m.
Robert O. Peak
Maine Sex Offender Registry photo
Robert O. Peak

BANGOR, Maine — A convicted sex offender from Hermon charged with sexually assaulting a 5-year-old girl made his initial appearance in court Wednesday where his bail was set at $30,000.

Robert O. Peak, 53, who is required to register as a sex offender for life based on a previous conviction, was arrested Monday by Detective Andrew Whitehouse of the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office and charged with Class A gross sexual assault with a person who has not yet attained the age of 12 and Class B unlawful sexual contact.

Peak remained at the Penobscot County Jail Wednesday night.

Whitehouse received a Department of Health and Human Services referral on July 3 regarding Peak “playing games” of a sexual nature with the girl, according to court documents. She told the detective on July 5 that the two played a secret game that involved the touching of their genitals.

“Robert told her it was a secret and that she should not talk about it,” the girl told the detective.

After speaking with the girl, Whitehouse spoke with Peak, who blamed the girl repeatedly during the interview saying she got on top of him while he was sleeping, according to court documents.

He told Whitehouse a medical condition prevented him from engaging in sexual activity, according to the affidavit.

Later in the interview, however, he admitted that on Feb. 14 he had a sexual encounter with the girl.

Assistant District Attorney Brendan Trainor asked at Peak’s first appearance at the Penobscot Judicial Center Wednesday that bail be set at $100,000 based on his criminal history, and that Peak be barred from contacting the victim, her family and any children.

“He has a February 1994 [gross sexual assault] conviction that resulted in a 9-year sentence with all but five years suspended and six years of probation,” the prosecutor said.

Peak was convicted in Belfast Superior Court on eight counts of gross sexual assault involving a person under the age of 14, his sex offender registry page states.

Ben Fowler, Peak’s attorney for the day, said in a videoconference from Penobscot County Jail that his client denies the charge and asked that bail be set at $2,500.

“Mr. Peak says this is an innocent misunderstanding,” Fowler said.

District Court Judge Bruce Jordan responded by saying, “the crime alleged is Class A and extremely serious” but added he thought the state’s request was a little high. He set Peak’s bail at $30,000, but agreed with the conditions Trainor requested barring contact with the victim, her family and all children.

Jordan also assigned Aaron Fethke of Searsport as his court-appointed attorney and told Peak that he expected the case to go before the Penobscot County grand jury later this month.

Peak faces a sentence of up to 30 years in jail if convicted of the gross sexual assault.

To reach a sexual assault advocate, call the Statewide Sexual Assault Crisis and Support Line at 800-871-7741, TTY 888-458-5599. This free and confidential 24-hour service is accessible from anywhere in Maine. Calls are automatically routed to the closest sexual violence service provider.

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