June 19, 2018
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Winslow woman accused of stealing from wrestling boosters pleads not guilty

Wendi Willette
By Alex Barber, BDN Staff

AUGUSTA, Maine — A Winslow woman accused of stealing between $24,000 and $35,000 from a high school wrestling boosters club pleaded not guilty to two felony theft charges on Tuesday.

Wendi Willette, 41, appeared in Kennebec County Superior Court, where she pleaded not guilty to two counts of theft by unauthorized taking, a Class B and a Class C charge, according to Kennebec County District Attorney Maeghan Maloney.

Willette was released on $5,000 unsecured bond and was ordered to have no contact with the victims. Willette filed paperwork to have a court-appointed attorney, said Maloney.

Willette, who was treasurer of Winslow High School’s Wrestling Booster Club until July, stole money from the fund she oversaw between Sept. 1, 2010, and July 31, 2013, according to the complaint in Kennebec County Superior Court.

Maloney said she could not disclose the exact amount of money that was stolen. The Class B charge Willette faces is based on the value of the property being more than $10,000.

Former Winslow High head wrestling coach Kevin Fredette said the amount is between $24,000 and $35,000, based on his estimates of the fundraising events the group has held and subsequent expenditures.

If convicted of the Class B charge, Willette faces up to 10 years in prison and up to a $20,000 fine. The Class C charge carries a prison sentence of up to five years and a fine of up to $5,000 and is based on Willette having a criminal history.

If convicted on both charges, Willette only can be sentenced on one of them, said Maloney.

Willette’s history includes convictions for two Class E misdemeanor charges of negotiating a worthless instrument. She was convicted in Augusta District Court on Dec. 10, 2003, and April 21, 2004.

A status conference at Kennebec County Superior Court is scheduled for Dec. 10.

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