March 19, 2018
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Former teacher accused of sexually assaulting student among 13 indicted in Hancock County

By Bill Trotter, BDN Staff

ELLSWORTH, Maine — A former middle school teacher and coach was among more than a dozen people indicted last week by the Hancock County grand jury.

Also indicted were three people accused of committing a robbery in Ellsworth in August 2011 and a Trenton man who allegedly stabbed and sexually assaulted a woman in February.

Benjamin H. Hodgdon II, 46, of Mount Desert was indicted April 10 on multiple charges of gross sexual assault, unlawful sexual contact and sexual abuse of a minor. According to police, Hodgdon is accused of sexually assaulting a girl between “30 and 40 times” in 1999 and 2000.

Hodgdon, who was 31 years old at the time of the alleged assaults, had been the girl’s sixth-grade teacher and was her cross-country coach when the assaults occurred, according to a police affidavit filed in Hancock County Superior Court. The girl was 13 and in eighth grade at Tremont Consolidated School, where Hodgdon worked, when the alleged assaults started in late summer or early fall of 1999, according to the document. The alleged assaults stopped when the girl entered high school in the fall of 2000, when she was 14, the affidavit states.

Each of the four gross sexual assault charges filed against Hodgdon is a Class A felony, which is punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a $50,000 fine.

James R. Stanton Jr., 48, of Trenton was indicted last week in connection with a Feb. 12 incident at a home on Oak Point Road in Trenton. According to Maine State Police, Stanton is accused of attacking a woman at the home before he fled into the woods behind the house. Police responded to the incident and found Stanton in the woods with “severe” self-inflicted knife wounds before taking him to a Bangor hospital for treatment.

Stanton was indicted on charges of elevated aggravated assault, gross sexual assault and aggravated assault. The elevated aggravated assault charge is a Class A felony, and the other two are Class B felonies, which are punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $20,000.

Jennifer Murphy, Dale Pollard and Anthony Pollard were indicted in connection with an Aug. 5, 2011, incident on Shore Road in Ellsworth. Murphy, 21, and the Pollards, both 23, all live in Orland.

According to police, the three are suspected of robbing a group of juveniles. Police have said two people wearing masks, carrying walkie-talkies and dressed in police-like gear confronted several juveniles who were having a small party during the early morning hours in a garage on Shore Road. The intruders, at least one of whom was armed with a handgun, demanded drugs and money and ordered the juveniles to lie on the ground before leaving with a small amount of cash and some marijuana, police said at the time.

Murphy and both Pollards each were indicted on charges of robbery, theft, assault, criminal threatening and falsifying physical evidence. Robbery is a Class A crime in Maine.

Also indicted April 10 were:

Carl A. Burch, 42, Ellsworth, burglary, theft.

Jeremy J. Everly, 32, Sorrento, burglary, theft, forgery.

Joseph M. Gallagher, 30, Sullivan, violating conditions of release, criminal threatening.

Elizabeth A. Gordon, 46, Fairfield, negotiating a worthless instrument.

Isreal D. Hall, 34, Southwest Harbor, failure to report.

Cami E. Hood, 28, Orland, theft by unauthorized taking.

Johnothan I. Oliver, 30, Deer Isle, operating a motor vehicle under the influence of intoxicants.

Jessica E. Sinclair, 28, Ellsworth, burglary, theft.

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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