June 24, 2018
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Judge wonders if Dana Wilson’s attempt to withdraw plea isn’t ‘buyer’s remorse’

By Judy Harrison, BDN Staff

BANGOR, Maine — Former Maine Sports Hall of Famer and local disc jockey Dana Wilson avoided a possible jail sentence again Friday when a Superior Court judge put off deciding whether Wilson may withdraw his no contest plea to a child pornography charge.

Superior Court Justice William Anderson said at what was to have been Wilson’s sentencing that he needed to read a transcript of the May proceeding when Wilson waived his right to trial and pleaded no contest before deciding whether the defendant could withdraw his plea.

Wilson’s attorney, Hunter Tzovarras of Bangor, filed a motion late Thursday seeking to withdraw his client’s no contest plea to a child pornography possession charge.

No contest pleas result in convictions.

“How is this anything more than buyer’s remorse?” the judge asked Tzovarras during Friday’s proceeding.

Tzovarras said that Wilson wanted to take the action “because he is innocent of the offense and believes he did not fully understand the state’s burden [of proof], potential issues for defense and consequences of a no contest plea.”

Michael Roberts, deputy district attorney for Penobscot County, told Anderson that he opposes the motion.

“We are prepared to go forward with sentencing now,” Roberts said Friday. “I don’t feel there’s an adequate support for the motion to allow Mr. Wilson to withdraw his plea.”

On May 23, Wilson pleaded no contest before District Court Judge Gregory Campbell to one count of possession of sexually explicit material, a Class C crime, as his jury-waived trial was about to begin.

If Anderson grants Wilson’s motion, it would be the fourth time since July that his sentencing has been continued, Roberts said Friday. The prosecutor said there had been other delays leading up to what was to have been Wilson’s jury-waived trial.

On Aug. 19, the day before he was to be sentenced, Wilson fired his previous attorney, Jeffrey Silverstein of Bangor. Silverstein said he was dismissed in an email but was given no reasons by his client.

Roberts said in August that he would recommend the judge sentence Wilson to between two and a half and three years in prison with all but between six and nine months suspended. Roberts also said he would urge the judge to impose two years of probation.

Silverstein said in August that he had planned to urge Anderson to sentence Wilson to probation but not jail time. Tzovarras was expected to do the same before filing the motion.

Monitoring of child pornography sites by law enforcement officials outside Maine led to an Internet address belonging to Wilson in February 2011, according to a previously published report. He was indicted by a Penobscot County grand jury in June 2012.

Wilson was inducted into the Maine Sports Hall of Fame in May 2012 for his basketball feats at Bangor’s Husson College, where he graduated in 1974. That honor was revoked May 29, 2013, by the hall’s board of directors, according to a previously published report.

He remains free on $1,000 unsecured bail with conditions that include having no contact with children under the age of 16.

Wilson, who has no prior criminal record, faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 on the charge.

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