April 20, 2018
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Prosecutor wants Dana Wilson to spend a year in prison for possessing child pornography

Gabor Degre | BDN
Gabor Degre | BDN
Dana Wilson at the Penobscot Judicial Center in Bangor in this July 2014 file photo.
By Judy Harrison, BDN Staff

BANGOR, Maine — The Penobscot County deputy district attorney will recommend Monday that Dana Wilson spend a year in prison for possessing child pornography.

Wilson, 63, of Brewer is scheduled to appear before Superior Court Justice Ann Murray at 8:30 a.m. at the Penobscot Judicial Center. Murray found Wilson guilty of possession of sexually explicit material, a Class C crime, on July 1 after a two-day, jury-waived trial in June.

He faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000 on the charge. Wilson, who has no prior criminal record, will be required to register for life as a sex offender.

Michael P. Roberts, who prosecuted Wilson, said last week that he would recommend the former disc jockey be sentenced to four years in prison with all but one year suspended and two years of probation. That is a stiffer sentence than the prosecutor said he would ask for after Wilson pleaded no contest — a plea he later was allowed to withdraw — in May 2013.

Under Maine law, convicted defendants may serve a sentence of nine months or less in a county jail. Sentences longer than nine months must be served in a prison operated by the Maine Department of Corrections.

Defense attorney Hunter Tzovarras of Bangor has said that he will urge Murray to sentence Wilson to probation rather than time behind bars.

Roberts said last year that he would recommend Wilson be sentenced to between 2½ and three years in prison with all but between six and nine months suspended, which could have been served in the Penobscot County Jail. Roberts also said at that time that he would urge the judge to impose two years of probation.

The prosecutor said after the trial in June that because Wilson suggested to police that his son, whose computer was broken in February 2011 when investigators interviewed Wilson, may have downloaded the child pornography, Roberts would seek a higher sentence than he would have before the trial.

“Acceptance of responsibility is recognized as a mitigating factor in sentencing by this office and the courts,” Roberts said Friday in an email. “Defendants who acknowledged this crime have typically received sentences in this county requiring them to serve six months.

“Dana Wilson has not accepted responsibility for his crime, casting blame on an innocent person,” Roberts said. “He has every right to put the state to its proof at trial. He does not have the right to besmirch another in an attempt to conceal his own misconduct. I feel that his conduct warrants the sentence we are recommending.”

Tzovarras said after the guilty verdict that it would be appealed to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. No matter what sentence is imposed, the defense attorney is expected to ask that Wilson remain free on $1,000 cash bail while the appeal is pending.

Wilson originally was scheduled to be sentenced last month. Murray allowed a four-week continuance so Wilson could care for his elderly parents in Florida.

He was inducted into the Maine Sports Hall of Fame in May 2012, a month before he was indicted by the Penobscot County grand jury, for his basketball feats at Bangor’s Husson College, now Husson University, where he graduated in 1974. That honor was revoked May 29, 2013, by the hall’s board of directors, according to a previously published report.

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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