BANGOR, Maine — Convicted sex offender John Cecil Slater, who was identified by several people who recognized him in a surveillance photo as the person suspected of robbing a Hallowell bank of $15,000 in June, pleaded not guilty Wednesday in U.S. District Court to bank robbery.
Slater, 66, of Gardiner, was indicted last week by a federal grand jury, according to information posted on the court’s electronic case filing system.
Slater, who is required to register as a sex offender for life, is being held without bail pending the outcome of his case
Slater was convicted in Skowhegan Superior Court in 1995 for gross sexual assault of a minor and gross sexual assault of a minor in his care. He was arrested July 9 in Twin Mountain, New Hampshire, by members of the FBI’s Boston Division and Maine State Police, according to a previously published report.
The bank robber wore a straw hat, sunglasses and a tan sports coat when he walked into the Hallowell branch of the Bank of Maine at around 10:15 a.m. June 23 and asked to open an account, according to court documents.
Slater allegedly handed a bank employee a note that read: “Im Here to Rob your Bank, no silent Alarms my cell phone rings, your all dead, I have a hand grenade, and a gun, no marked bills, or inked, if so, one day I will come back and kill all of you, do you understand.???”
After passing the note, the bank robber told the teller, “I’m sick. I want $15,000 in $100 bills. I don’t care, I’ll shoot.” The bank employee informed the bank manager that the bank was being robbed and the two provided the cash to Slater, who then left the building, the complaint said.
A federal warrant for Slater’s arrest was issued on June 27 after investigators received information from seven informants who identified him after seeing the image of the bank robber released to the media.
Slater was convicted in 1995 of two rapes involving a child or children. The first sexual assault involved a child who had not yet reached the age of 14, and the second rape conviction states the victim was under the age of 18 and Slater was “a parent, step-parent, foster parent, guardian or other similar person responsible for the long-term care and welfare of that other person,” according to the Maine Sex Offender Registry. It is not clear if the two charges involved the same child.
He was sentenced to 14 years in prison with all but seven years suspended for the child rape, and 10 years with all but seven years suspended for sexually assaulting the child in his care.
If convicted of bank robbery, he also faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Slater also could be ordered to pay restitution to the bank and forfeit a motorcycle the indictment alleges he bought with the stolen money.
BDN writerNok-Noi Ricker contributed to this report.