June 24, 2018
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Teens testify in Calais sex crimes trial

Tim Cox | BDN
Tim Cox | BDN
Seth Larkin sits at the defense table in Washington County Superior Court on Tuesday.
By Tim Cox, BDN Staff

MACHIAS, Maine — A young woman and a teenage girl testified Tuesday against a man who is on trial in Washington County Superior Court accused of committing a sex crime against each of them.

In addition, the man’s former girlfriend testified that he threatened retaliation against the two if they went to the authorities.

Seth Larkin, 28, is charged with gross sexual assault and unlawful sexual contact in connection with an incident that took place May 25, 2013, in the Calais apartment of his former girlfriend Mary Mitchell.

Larkin testified on his own behalf, denying any wrongdoing.

Prosecution and defense testimony concluded Tuesday with the jury of seven men and five women expected to hear the closing arguments Wednesday morning.

The two young women, who were visiting Mitchell and spent the night at her apartment, described encounters that occurred with Larkin the next morning. Larkin had spent the night with Mitchell, with whom he had an on-again, off-again long-term relationship and a child, according to Mitchell.

Larkin was alone with the two young women briefly in a bedroom and said he wanted to see their breasts and would expose himself, the 16-year-old testified. Later, she was in a bathroom with him and Larkin took her hand and placed it on his exposed genitals, she said.

“I said, ‘Get out,'” she testified, and when he didn’t she said she pushed her way out of the bathroom and went downstairs.

The 18-year-old testified that Larkin fondled her breasts — she was clothed — when they were left alone in the bedroom. She resisted and left the room and joined her friend downstairs.

“I was kind of scared,” she testified, and “annoyed.”

The 18-year-old returned to the bedroom a short time later, and Larkin joined her, she said. He forced her to perform oral sex, then removed her pants and forced intercourse, she testified. At various times she resisted and told him to get off her, she said.

The women communicated what happened to Mitchell two days later. She became angry, told Larkin to get out of her apartment, and removed his possessions. She subsequently took the women to police, where they gave written statements.

Testifying in his own defense Tuesday afternoon, Larkin said the 16-year-old had been living with him and Mitchell about a month. The night before the alleged incidents, Larkin, a visiting cousin, Mitchell and the two teens had been drinking alcoholic beverages, he said.

The 18-year-old flirted with him several times the next morning, Larkin testified. When they were in an upstairs bedroom, he exposed himself, and she rubbed his genitals and performed oral sex on him, he said. Later he asked if she wanted to “mess around,” and she followed him into the bedroom, Larkin testified. They engaged in consensual sexual relations and she kissed him afterward, he said.

Larkin said he was never alone in the bathroom with the 16-year-old and disputed her claim that he placed her hand on his genitals.

When she confronted Larkin with the girls’ accounts, Mitchell said, Larkin denied their claims. Responding to questions by First Assistant District Attorney Paul Cavanaugh, Mitchell said that Larkin declared he committed no wrongdoing and swore on the life of their daughter.

After she texted Larkin that he would be lucky if the women did not press charges against him, Mitchell testified, Larkin returned to the apartment and pounded on the door and said, “‘I’ll go to jail for a few years, but when I get out you’re all gonna pay.'”

“I never stated that,” Larkin said when he testified later.

Mitchell also testified that Larkin left her voice mails threatening to tell authorities that Mitchell had given alcohol to the girls and had been smoking marijuana. She played the voice mail messages for police.

“I was very frustrated, very upset,” when he left the voice mail, Larkin testified.

In his opening statement, defense attorney Toff Toffolon disputed any incident between Larkin and the 16-year-old, and he said the 18-year-old was a “willing participant” in sexual relations.

In 2005, when Larkin was 19, a Washington County Superior Court jury found him not guilty of attempted murder but guilty of aggravated assault in connection with a fight and stabbing at a party at a home on the Pleasant Point reservation. Larkin’s attorney argued that he acted in self-defense, according to BDN archives.

Larkin recently had returned to the reservation on an early release program from the state’s juvenile detention facility at Charleston, according to the BDN files. He had been serving a sentence for a prior conviction for elevated aggravated assault as a juvenile.

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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