PORTLAND — Maine’s highest court has vacated a former music teacher’s 27-year sentence, saying the term is excessive for his convictions on sex charges involving his students.

Theodore Stanislaw of Blue Hill was originally sentenced to 28 years in prison after pleading guilty to unlawful sexual contact for molesting five girls between the ages of 10 and 14 between 2004 and 2008.

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court in 2011 vacated that sentence, ruling that sentencing guidelines were misapplied. Stanislaw was then resentenced to 27 years.

In a split 4-3 decision, justices on Tuesday ruled that the 27-year sentence was out of line for a conviction of unlawful sexual contact.

The court ordered that Stanislaw again be resentenced, suggesting that an appropriate term would be one-third to one-half his previous sentence.

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