AUGUSTA — A former captain with the Augusta Fire Department was ordered to serve a year and a half in prison as part of his sentence for having sex with a 15-year-old girl at his home in Manchester between April 2007 and April 2008.

Robert G. MacMaster, 40, now of Lincoln, was convicted by a jury on July 1 of a charge of sexual abuse of a minor which occurred in 2007.

He was sentenced today in Kennebec County Superior Court with the victim — now 19 — and her mother watching from the rear of the small courtroom.

Justice Robert Murray sentenced MacMaster to four years in prison, with all but one and a half years suspended and two years probation. Murray imposed probation conditions that ban MacMaster from contact with girls under 16 unless their parents or guardians are present and ordered him to undergo sex offender counseling.

The conviction also means MacMaster must register for 10 years under the state’s Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act.

MacMaster, wearing a green two-piece jail uniform in contrast to the suits and ties he wore while free on bail during the trial, did not speak at the hearing except to acknowledge his right to appeal the sentence.

The prosecutor, Assistant District Attorney James Mitchell Jr., argued for an initial three years behind bars, saying MacMaster was a paramedic and trained other paramedics about the state requirement to report suspected sexual abuse of minors.

“All firemen and paramedics are train to recognize and report any illegal sexual activity between an adult and a minor,” Mitchell said in a sentencing memo. “It is not a wonder that the firemen the defendant worked with did not see anything more than ‘odd’ behavior since the defendant knew he would have to keep his relationship secret from the other mandatory reporters.”

The victim’s mother accused MacMaster of breaking her trust.

“I just wanted to let Mac know I trusted him with my daughter as a parent, and he let me down,” she told the judge. “He told people he was giving her the life we couldn’t. I am upset because he didn’t look after her the way he would his own child.

Sean Farris, MacMaster’s attorney, asked the judge to set a sentence of nine months or less to keep MacMaster in the county jail system.

“This is a case where, despite the age difference, it was clear in courtroom testimony by (the victim) and my client that each one was in love with the other, and the relationship lasted until she was 18 or over,” Farris said.

Murray said aggravating factors he included in arriving at a sentence included MacMaster’s lack of remorse and his “numerous attempts to justify the  relationship. There was no belief there was anything wrong with this relationship.”

MacMaster had been accused of having sex with the underage girl both at his family’s home in Manchester, where she also lived occasionally, and at a city fire station between April 7, 2006, and April 6, 2010. The jury cleared him of a charge of gross sexual assault and three other charges of sexual abuse of a minor,

MacMaster was a firefighter/paramedic at the Augusta Fire Department for 17 years until he resigned July 7, 2009.

MacMaster, who was president of the Augusta Uniformed Firefighters Union at the time, later pleaded guilty to a felony theft charge.

He was sentenced in January to 14 days in jail on that offense and was ordered to pay $3,565.14 restitution, which he did.

The City of Augusta is seeking  $20,224 as reimbursement from MacMaster for unemployment benefits the he was awarded by the Unemployment Insurance Commission, according to Stephen Langsdorf, the city’s attorney.

After the city appealed,  one commissioner indicated he had voted incorrectly, and the award was later rescinded.


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