The Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office has dismissed the criminal complaint against a former Bonny Eagle High School cheerleading coach accused of gross sexual assault and unlawful sexual contact involving an 18-year-old student.

District Attorney Stephanie Anderson confirmed Wednesday night that the charges against 21-year-old Nicholas Perry of Standish have been dropped. Perry could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Anderson said the student and the student’s mother met with Assistant District Attorney Matthew Tice on Monday and they decided not to pursue criminal charges.

“We didn’t have any safety concerns because they were so close in age,” Tice explained late Wednesday evening. “The student didn’t want us to move forward with the charges and we had to respect that.”

In January, deputies from the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office arrested Perry, who was later released on $5,000 cash bail.

Perry was charged under a provision in Maine law that prohibits any school employee from having a sexual relationship with anyone over whom the employee has instructional, supervisory or disciplinary authority. Perry resigned his coaching position after he was arrested.

The sheriff’s office told the Press Herald that the alleged sexual conduct did not occur at a school function or on school grounds.

During a television interview about the case Perry was asked whether he had a sexual relationship with the student when he was a coach.

“I’m not going to say we did or say we didn’t,” Perry told WGME-TV. “You know, there are people who believe in my innocence and people who believe in the guilt. You’ve got to take it as it comes.”

Perry and the student had a “relationship” when Perry was a senior at Bonny Eagle, Tice said. At the time, the student was a freshman. Perry graduated from Bonny Eagle in 2014. The 18-year-old student still attends the high school.

Perry was first hired as an assistant coach in August 2016 and was a coach for the winter cheering program in November, School Administrative District 6 Superintendent Paul Penna said.

School officials reported the alleged relationship in January after receiving text messages about it from students.

“The student and Mr. Perry had a relationship that pre-dated his becoming a coach. In a case like this, we felt there were significant concerns that a jury might have,” Anderson said.

Anderson said the student felt strongly that Perry should not be prosecuted.

Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:

[email protected]

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