Man accused of calling, visiting wife while in jail despite protection order

By Abigail Curtis, BDN Staff
Posted Nov. 25, 2013, at 3:17 p.m.

BELFAST, Maine — After being arrested in October, accused of assaulting his wife and trying to hit her with his car, it’s pretty clear that Maine courts and police did not want Joseph McCusker to have contact with her.

But McCusker, 57, of Center Conway, N.H., was charged last week with violating his bail conditions five times by making contact with his wife even though he’s still behind bars in connection with the initial offense.

The 57-year-old New Hampshire’s man bail had been set at $50,000 cash or $500,000 surety after the Oct. 20 incident, which resulted in charges of domestic violence assault, reckless violation of a protection order and operating under the influence.

A resident called police to report that McCusker assaulted the woman while in a parked car on Northport Avenue near Belfast City Park. After that call, Belfast police Officer Thomas Ballard found the suspect vehicle at a Route 1 convenience store and learned from another witness, a prosecutor from Arizona, that McCusker allegedly tried to strike the woman with his vehicle as she went into the store.

The woman told police that she had been abused for the past two days and had bruises on her face, according to a previous police report.

McCusker has remained held at Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset. But beginning on Oct. 25, according to a report from the Belfast Police Department, he has tried on several occasions to call his wife. The woman even allegedly visited him at jail by giving officials there a fake name.

Chief Mike McFadden said Monday that Belfast police obtained recordings of phone calls purportedly made between McCusker and his wife. In those calls, the two discussed the Oct. 20 assault and even her later successful attempt to visit him in jail. Both told each other they couldn’t believe they succeeded in the jail subterfuge, according to the police report.

McCusker was charged on Nov. 20 with five counts of violating his conditions of release and one criminal attempt to violate his bail conditions. He has lost all phone and visitation privileges, police said.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence and would like to talk with an advocate, call 866-834-4357, TRS 800-787-3224. This free, confidential service is available 24/7 and is accessible from anywhere in Maine.

http://bangordailynews.com/2013/11/25/news/midcoast/man-accused-of-calling-visiting-wife-while-in-jail-despite-protection-order/ printed on July 29, 2014