The Maine Supreme Judicial Court has upheld the conviction of a former Nokomis Regional High School music teacher who was found guilty of beating, kicking and strangling his then-girlfriend from December 2013 to July 2014 at their home in Pittsfield.

The high court’s opinion, released Tuesday, rejected arguments Andrew Maderios made in his appeal that the trial court had erred in allowing certain witnesses to testify and evidence to be admitted. The victim, whose identity the Morning Sentinel is withholding because she is a victim of domestic violence, documented the attacks at the Pittsfield home the couple shared with audio recordings and still photographs, all on her iPhone, which became key evidence in the five-day trial in 2015.

Maderios, 30, formerly of Pittsfield, was convicted last year of aggravated assault and domestic violence assault. He was sentenced to 15 years, with all but three years suspended; and six years of probation, with the first two of those years to include electronic monitoring.

In his appeal on behalf of Maderios, Auburn defense attorney Leonard Sharon had stated that the trial judge was in error in excluding evidence of the victim’s prior conduct with former romantic partners to show her motive, intent or plan in accusing Maderios of assaulting her.

Sharon also challenged that the court was wrong to admit as evidence audio recordings and photographs presented by the state at trial and erred in not granting a mistrial on the basis of “improper comments” made by the prosecutor, District Attorney Maeghan Maloney.

“The fear of dying was overwhelming,” the victim told Justice Mullen at sentencing, her voice quivering on every word. She said she was sorry she had “brought a monster” into her children’s lives.

In responses to the law court’s ruling, Maloney on Tuesday reiterated opinions she had expressed during Maderios’ trial, saying that the extent of the assaults warranted significant prison time.

“The assaults were severe and the evidence strong,” Maloney said via email Tuesday. “The victim needs to be protected. I appreciate the law court’s decision.”

Sharon did not respond Tuesday to requests for comment on the decision.

Sharon and his co-counsels contended during the trial that Maloney had stated her personal opinion about or “vouched for” the witness in an attempt to sway the jury. Maloney said that her statements in closing arguments were not deliberate and did not affect the outcome of the trial, and the justices agreed.

In her answer to the points of appeal, Maloney said that raising issues of the victim’s prior conduct with intimate partners would amount to a “trial within a trial” and that the court was correct to deny the motion for a new trial.

Justices of the law court again agreed, calling it a classic example of creating a trial within a trial.

Maloney said any evidence of what the victim may have done with or against other men is “not logically related” to the charges against Maderios.

At the end of his trial, it appeared that Maderios’ apparent lack of remorse and inability to take responsibility for his actions were what moved Superior Court Justice Robert Mullen to impose the long prison sentence. Mullen said he took into account letters of support for Maderios, but because Maderios continued to blame the victim, Mullen said he had no choice but to impose the 15-year suspended sentence.

Maloney had asked for a 15-year sentence with all but six years suspended. She got 15 years, with all but three suspended, but said later that she was glad Maderios was going to be off the streets.

“He’ll be tucked away from the victim for at least five years,” she said. “I was concerned what he would do when he left prison. With electronic monitoring, I don’t have that concern, because we’re able to know where he is at all times.”

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]

Twitter:@Doug_Harlow


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