CARIBOU, Maine — A Limestone man who was charged in 2011 with multiple sex charges was acquitted last week during a jury trial in Aroostook County Superior Court.
Mark Fisher, 45, was tried on two counts of gross sexual assault and two counts of unlawful sexual contact before Justice E. Allen Hunter. He was represented by attorney Stephen Smith of Bangor. The trial ended July 13.
Aroostook County Assistant District Attorney John Pluto said Friday that the charges against Fisher involved one child. Fisher was the “parent, stepparent, foster parent, guardian or other similar person responsible for the long-term general care and welfare” of the child, according to the indictment.
Pluto said the child was under 14 years old when the alleged abuse occurred between April 2008 to approximately January 2011.
Fisher had been employed as a custodian at the Maine School of Science and Mathematics in Limestone. The child was not an MSSM student.
Pluto said Friday that the child, who testified against Fisher over two days of the trial, came forward and disclosed the alleged abuse to a school employee in Feb. 2011.
“This young woman had the courage to come forward, which is very difficult to do,” he said. “The school employee did absolutely the right thing and the correct thing under the law and reported it and it was brought to the attention of the Department of Human Services and to law enforcement.”
Pluto said that he believes that one of the things that he feels worked against them was that sexual abuse is something that is outside the mainstream occurrence and not something most people can identify with.
The child, he said, was uncertain about the dates and the chronology of the abuse that she testified that she suffered.
“We attempted to put an expert witness on the stand to testify about how a victim might remember the abuse but not the dates and chronology, but the judge ruled we could not,” he said.
Pluto said that the child was disappointed about the verdict, but at the same time felt it was in many ways a victory because she had her day in court.
Fisher also took the stand at the trial. His attorney said that he was very happy with the verdict and that the jury saw it his way. At the same time, Smith said, he was concerned about his safety and that his family, his job and much of his life had been “dismantled.”
“He is obviously devastated about the loss of his job and the impact on his future career and his family situation,” he said Friday. “Right now he is just hoping to rebuild his life.”
The case was investigated by Maine State Police Detective Adam Stoutamyer.