If you or someone you know needs resources or support related to sexual violence, contact the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault’s 24/7 hotline at 800-871-7741.
A Lincoln man on Friday admitted to sexually assaulting and impregnating a 14-year-old relative in a hearing at the Penobscot Judicial Center.
Paul Fiske, 38, pleaded guilty to an array of sex charges including the most serious, Class A gross sexual assault. He also admitted to contacting the victim from jail and pressuring witnesses not to testify at a trial.
The victim, now 16, gave birth to Fiske’s child in October 2019. The Bangor Daily News is not identifying her.
Devon DeMarco, assistant district attorney for Penobscot County, and defense attorney Hunter Tzovarras of Bangor jointly recommended that Fiske be sentenced to 20 years in prison with all but 10 years suspended, to be followed by eight years of probation.
Both said that the plea agreement spared the victim from having to testify about the two years of abuse she endured.
Fiske was expected to be sentenced Friday, but Superior Court Justice William Anderson took the case under advisement to consider whether he will accept the plea agreement. He said that if he rejects the agreement it would not be because he thinks the time Fiske must serve “is too low.”
If the judge rejects it, Fiske could decide to go to trial. His trial originally was set to be held this month but all trials in Maine were postponed indefinitely due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases.
The victim attended Friday’s hearing and told Anderson that the abuse she suffered was “horrific.”
The victim said that Fiske “brainwashed” and “manipulated” her into thinking they were in love and that she was not being abused.
“No sentence is long enough to right this wrong,” she told Anderson.
Fiske apologized for all the “hurt and tears” he had caused the victim, his ex-wife and other family members.
In January 2019, police began investigating Fiske’s connection to the 14-year-old after his wife told investigators she believed the girl was being sexually abused, according to DeMarco.
The victim told her caseworker with the Maine Department of Health and Human Services that she impregnated herself with semen she found in Fiske’s bathroom. Fiske was with her during that meeting, DeMarco said.
The girl initially denied that Fiske sexually assaulted her but after her child was born, she told investigators that he began sexually assaulting her when she was 13. She also said that Fiske began controlling her, telling her what to wear and how to fix her hair, and refusing to let her leave the house and spend time with her friends.
It was after the birth of her son while living in a group home for teenage mothers that she understood how she had been abused, the victim said Friday. She then told investigators what had happened to her.
A new sentencing date has not been set.
Fiske faces up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000 on the most serious charge of gross sexual assault.