Former coach accused of sexual assault barred from Islesboro after arrest on new charges

Posted June 05, 2014, at 4:03 p.m.
Last modified June 05, 2014, at 4:39 p.m.
Travis Tatro
Waldo County Jail
Travis Tatro

ISLESBORO, Maine — Former Islesboro Central School basketball coach Travis Tatro has been banned from the island where he’s been living after recent allegations were made that he contacted one of the three teenage girls he is accused of sexually abusing.

The 30-year-old Tatro, who is facing multiple counts of gross sexual assault and other sexual abuse charges, was initially arrested last fall. According to the February indictment by the Waldo County grand jury, the abuse began in March 2011 and lasted into August 2013, when the school dismissed him.

In February, the grand jury charged Tatro with 16 counts of gross sexual assault, eight counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and three counts of possession of sexually explicit materials.

Waldo County District Attorney Geoffrey Rushlau said that Tatro was arrested two weeks ago and charged with three counts of violation of his prior bail conditions, which included having no contact with two of the alleged victims or any girl younger than 18.

Tatro turned himself in after his lawyer, Walter McKee of Augusta, learned that there was a warrant for his arrest. He made his first court appearance on the new charges from Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset last week, but a judge did not set bail for him until this Tuesday, Rushlau said.

McKee, who was retained by Tatro, said Thursday that the new charge will be presented to the grand jury, too.

“There’s no allegation of anything other than minimal contact,” McKee said.

Tatro’s additional bail was set at $25,000 surety, and special conditions include his no longer being allowed to go to Islesboro. The island has a year-round population of just a few hundred people, and the former coach reportedly had been doing property maintenance and living there, Rushlau said.

“I think it was very difficult for people on Islesboro to have him out there while the case was pending,” Rushlau said.

Police learned of Tatro’s alleged May 5 bail violation after a resident of Islesboro allegedly saw Tatro and one of the teenage girls “in close proximity” in their respective vehicles while parked in front of a barn on Route 173 in Lincolnville. The resident contacted administrators at the Islesboro Central School, who contacted police.

Detective Jason Andrews followed up on the tip and said he found two cars parked at the Bald Rock hiking trailhead. No one was in the cars, Andrews said in a continuation report filed at Waldo County Superior Court, but when he pulled in to turn around, he saw someone.

“Travis Tatro suddenly came out from behind a tree. Travis came out from behind the tree so quickly that he actually stumbled and almost fell,” Andrews said. “Travis jokingly came over to my vehicle and appeared surprised by my presence.”

Tatro went to his car to get a hooded sweatshirt, then took off fast on the trail, Andrews said.

The detective left the parking lot and drove up the road until he found a position where he could watch from a distance. About five minutes later, Tatro allegedly came off the trail and got into his sedan. Then Andrews saw one of the teenage girls sitting in the driver’s seat of another vehicle parked at the lot. She sat there for more than half an hour, he said, before driving away.

His bail, which last fall was set at $10,000 cash or $20,000 property surety, also was amended to add a condition that Tatro can not contact his third named victim.

Tatro posted the bail on June 3.

Rushlau said Tatro’s case is scheduled for trial at Waldo County Superior Court in October.

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