April 26, 2018
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Westbrook woman convicted of helping boyfriend sexually assault developmentally delayed teen

By Beth Brogan, BDN Staff

PORTLAND, Maine — A Westbrook woman was convicted Wednesday of gross sexual assault after a jury found she helped her boyfriend sexually assault a 14-year-old developmentally delayed girl.

Holly Morrison, 34, was found guilty of one count of gross sexual assault but not guilty of two others, according to Cumberland County Assistant District Attorney Michael Madigan. She also was found guilty of three misdemeanor counts of endangering the welfare of a minor.

Morrison was indicted in April by a Cumberland County grand jury. According to affidavits by Westbrook police officers, the victim reported to friends and a Department of Health and Human Services worker Nov. 14 that Morrison’s boyfriend, 59-year-old Donald Cass, had been sexually assaulting her since the beginning of October.

The victim is related to Morrison, according to court documents.

The victim told police Cass used objects to sexually assault her and said Morrison assisted Cass by insisting the victim get into bed with the two of them and shower with them.

Police said Morrison admitted to seeing Cass assault the victim on three occasions.

Cass, of Auburn, pleaded guilty in February to two counts of gross sexual assault and was sentenced to eight years in prison, with all but four years suspended, and four years of probation.

The victim testified during the trial, which began Tuesday and concluded Wednesday afternoon, Madigan said.

Madigan also called Cass to testify he pleaded guilty to two counts of gross sexual assault.

After about two hours of deliberation, the jury returned with what Madigan described as “a very appropriate and well-reasoned verdict.”

“They did a great job,” he said. “The evidence that came out at trial was not strong on compulsion on [two of the gross sexual assault charges]. The jury was paying very close attention. There was very strong evidence of compulsion on count one.”

Judge Jeffrey H. Moskowitz released Morrison on Wednesday on the same $500 bail set when she was indicted, which Madigan said surprised him.

“I asked that she be held without bail, having just been found guilty of a Class A felony,” he said. But according to Madigan, Moskowitz said Morrison had been present at every required court appearance.

On June 24, Morrison appeared in court prepared to plead guilty as part of a plea agreement, but then rejected the offer. Madigan said at the time that prosecutors would have recommended a sentence of 15 years, with all but 10 years plus probation suspended.

Morrison faces up to 30 years in prison for the Class A felony conviction. Madigan said sentencing has not yet been scheduled.

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.

BDN writer Seth Koenig contributed to this report.

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