AUGUSTA — A man accused of seriously injuring his infant daughter by shaking her last December is seeking contact with the child’s mother.
An attorney for Kevin M. Peaslee, 22, of Windsor told a judge on Tuesday that counselors have said that allowing the parents to have contact during joint counseling sessions would be beneficial. The attorney also said that Peaslee’s counselor believes that use of medical marijuana might benefit Peaslee as well. However, that is prohibited under Peaslee’s bail conditions.
Peaslee has pleaded not guilty to an indictment charging him with two counts of aggravated assault and one count of assault on Aleah Peaslee, who was six months old at the time of the incident on Dec. 21. He is free on bail that prohibits contact with both the baby and the baby’s mother, Virginia Trask.
The judge postponed ruling until June 6 or later after the state objected to Peaslee having contact with Trask, 18.
“We expect she will be one of the principal witnesses against him at trial,” said the prosecutor Deputy District Attorney Fernand LaRochelle.
LaRochelle also told Justice Robert Mullen that the state indicated it did not have enough information to take a position on the medical marijuana request during a brief hearing in Kennebec County Superior Court.
Prosecutors initially said the baby was blind and her brain damaged as a result of the incident, but Peaslee’s attorney said the description of the infant’s injuries was exaggerated.
The baby was released from a Portland hospital Jan. 27, the same week Peaslee was released from jail when made bail.
Peaslee’s attorney, James T. Lawley, told the judge both Peaslee and Trask have been in separate individual counseling sessions with different providers.
Lawley also said that Trask was not a witness to any alleged assault, only to statements Peaslee made afterward, and that she had testified at a child protective hearing and provided a written statement.
“Her statements and expected testimony are pretty much locked in at this point,” Lawley said.
Trask was at work, and Peaslee and the baby were alone at the apartment the family shared on Capitol Street in Augusta, when the assault occurred, according to investigators.
District Attorney Maeghan Maloney said previously that on Dec. 21 Peaslee was driving with the baby in the car when a police officer pulled him over for allegedly running a stop sign. The officer saw the baby was in distress and took them to a nearby fire station for medical help. The baby was then hospitalized.
Trask has said she believed the baby’s injuries were accidental, and was publicly supportive of Peaslee.
While the baby’s condition did not come up during the brief hearing, Lawley said afterward, “From what I understand she’s stabilized.”
The prosecutor recently received a transcript of a child protective hearing involving the baby — as well as a judge’s permission to read it.
Mullen said delaying a ruling will give the state a chance to read that transcript and see if it continues to object to contact between the parents in a therapeutic setting.
Lawley also told the judge that Peaslee’s counselor, who was at the hearing, assured him that he would limit the conversation to avoid any discussion of the case.