AUGUSTA — A Jefferson nurse was acquitted Friday of charges she assaulted an inmate at the Kennebec County jail almost two years ago when she gave her a series of injections and then a suppository without her consent.

Kimberly Arlene Vigue, 38, did not testify in her own defense. Her attorney, C.H. “Skip” Spurling, did not call any witnesses.

The trial on the two misdemeanor assault charges took place Friday at the Capital Judicial in front of a judge. Vigue had waived her right to a jury trial.

The Dec. 21, 2015, incident itself is one of those cited in a civil lawsuit filed by the inmate, Brandee A. Lewis, 22, of Palmyra and formerly of Augusta, against Vigue, Kennebec County, and corrections officers and others, including the health care provider at the jail.

In ruling from the bench on the assault charges, Judge Eric Walker said he found that state had proved that the Vigue “did intentionally, knowingly or recklessly cause bodily injury or offensive physical contact to Brandee A. Lewis” by administering those things on Dec. 21, 2015.

Walker said it was obvious that Lewis’ repeated refusals to take her prescription psychiatric medication were frustrating and upsetting to Vigue.

“None of us know what was injected,” he said. Testimony Friday indicated it might have been Haldol, a saline solution or lidocaine, a medication one witness said she found sitting out on a counter when she reported to work on Dec. 22, 2015, at the jail.

Walker also said either that substance and/or the medication in the suppository had some type of calming effect on Lewis, who had been seated in a restraint chair, with arms and legs strapped down after she reportedly threatened suicide.

However, Walker said Vigue had raised a valid defense — what he called a medical provider’s defense — and followed an order to administer those items.

“I do think Ms. Vigue had some reason to believe there was something written in logs at the jail that Haldol was to be administered and gave it again,” Walker said. “There was no dispute by the physician’s assistant that he signed off on that. He initialed it that that was correct.”

Walker also commented on the credibility of a number of the state’s witnesses. He said he concluded some were evasive — and speculated that could be the result of the civil lawsuit — and that several “have clear biases against this defendant.” He said there were minor inconsistencies between earlier statements and testimony, adding, “One witness, I am very concerned (about), was not being truthful at all.”

Two of the corrections officers were in tears when they described the events, and several testified Friday that Lewis objected to the injections and the suppository, but no indication of that was found in their written reports from Dec. 22, 2015, a day after the events.

In his opening statement, Spurling told the judge, “Credibility is going to be a very key component here for the court to decide.”

Lewis, the first witness, was brought into the courtroom by sheriff’s deputies. She wore dark glasses and a bright orange jail uniform and some of her hair was gathered in a small bun on the top of her head. She said she spent Thursday night at the York County jail. Lewis has eight theft convictions and one arson conviction.

She testified that she refused her medication that night and that Vigue kept asking her to take them.

“I was forcefully told I had to take them. Then Ms. Vigue gave me five needles in the arm,” Lewis said. She spoke slowly when she was answering questions on the stand.

“She kept asking me after each shot. ‘Are you going to take your meds?’ “

Then she said she was taken to the “search and shower room.”

“They stripped me and put something up my butt,” she said. Lewis said she refused. “I said, ‘No, I don’t want it.'”

She testified that her regular medications “make me happy,” but the ones she was forcibly administered that day made her tired.

Lewis told Spurling that she did not file a written complaint about the incident with the jail, but that it was in the civil lawsuit.

Outside the courtroom after the verdict, Spurling said Vigue would not make a statement because of the civil lawsuit. However, he said he was “very pleased with the judge’s verdict” and that the judge’s findings about the witnesses’ credibility “was compelling.”

Vigue was terminated from her post by Correctional Health Partners, which provided health care at the jail, and a notice about that termination included the allegations she had administered medications “without proper authorization and against the patient’s will.”

Vigue’s registered nursing license was placed on interim voluntary suspension by state Board of Nursing until the criminal charges were resolved.

“She is now entitled to a hearing before the nursing board,” Spurling said.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams