TOPSHAM — The owner of the home where police say a 19-year-old Bath woman was assaulted with a tire iron Sunday is denying that he allows homeless people and drug addicts to stay there.

Police say they have responded to multiple complaints at the home of Maurice Labonte, 75, on Demon’s Way in Topsham mostly for reports of drinking and disorderly conduct.

“There’s a transient population going in and out of there,” but police are relatively powerless to do anything about it, said Topsham Sgt. Robert Ramsay.

He said police aren’t sure if the 16-year-old girl charged in the assault had stayed in the house before showing up around 5 a.m. Sunday.

LaBonte said he didn’t know the people involved in the assault or even that the incident had happened until hours later.

The 16-year-old turned herself in Monday at the Topsham Police Department, driven there by her mother, and is being held at the Long Creek Youth Development Center in South Portland on a charge of elevated aggravated assault. She has not been cooperative, Ramsay said, and police are not saying what they believe led to the attack.

Police have said the victim could lose an eye as a result of the assault. Ramsay said she has been treated at a Boston hospital, but he had no further information on her condition, and her identity has not been released. Topsham police Detective Mark LaFountain said Wednesday he would not release information on the woman’s condition because of patient confidentiality laws.

Labonte said Wednesday he’s only taken in one person, the homeless son of friends, at his home in a rural part of Topsham.

Labonte also said he doesn’t know the 16-year-old who is accused of the assault and only met the victim Saturday afternoon, when a small group of friends stopped in before going to a pond near his house.

The house, located on a short road just off Lovers Lane, northeast of the center of Topsham, is surrounded by pickup trucks, some logs from downed trees and a rusty barrel.

Labonte said he learned of the alleged assault later Sunday morning in a telephone call. He said he takes sleeping aids and slept through the incident. The victim was taken to Mid Coast Hospital in Brunswick and police were notified about the assault by hospital officials.

“I’m too old and it’s too late for me,” Labonte said. He said that’s why he had no information to provide about the assault, the victim or the girl who allegedly committed the assault.

“All I know is second-hand or third-hand,” he said.

Tom Lister, Topsham’s code enforcement officer, said the town doesn’t have any ordinances regarding who can and can’t live in a house and there are no zoning prohibitions that would apply to Labonte allowing others to stay in his house.

Some towns and cities prohibit the number of nonrelatives who can stay in a home to prevent single-family houses from becoming boarding houses. But that kind of ordinance is often adopted after a problem develops, Lister said, and he knows of no situations in Topsham that might have led officials to consider such an ordinance.

Lister said Topsham’s laws make reference to people who “live together as a family,” but “family” isn’t defined. He also said that the town could also investigate whether Labonte was running an unlicensed boarding house if he accepts money from those he takes in, but there’s no proof of that.

“I’m guessing it’s not a business transaction” between Labonte and those he allegedly allows to stay there, Lister said, but “if it is, how could we prove it?”

Edward D. Murphy can be contacted at 791-6465 or at:

[email protected]

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