WATERVILLE — A woman who had filed a lawsuit against a Maine developer alleging culpability in a high-profile sexual assault case, prompting Colby College to terminate an agreement with him to build a prominent hotel downtown, has discontinued her claims against him and called his inclusion a “mistake.”

Even so, Colby College did not indicate that news of the dismissal would result in re-hiring Kevin Mahaney, owner of The Olympia Cos. A Colby spokesperson issued a statement Tuesday reaffirming the college had terminated its agreement with Mahaney and is now “moving ahead to develop the property ourselves.”

Colby is spending millions of dollars to help revitalize downtown Waterville, including building a dormitory, and plans to build a boutique hotel this year on Main Street.

The college last year hired Olympia, of Portland, to develop and manage the hotel, but fired the company recently after learning about a lawsuit filed Jan. 9 against Howard Rubin, a New York City millionaire financier who was alleged to have owned a sex torture chamber.

Kevin Mahaney Photo by Brian Peterson

According to the original lawsuit, filed by a woman using the pseudonym Julie Parker, Mahaney was allegedly responsible in 2015 for introducing Parker, then 20, to Rubin through another woman. Mahaney maintains he never met Rubin and does not know him.

In the complaint, filed in New York Supreme Court, Parker alleged Rubin met her for a meal at the Russian Tea Room in New York City, where he bought her food and alcohol and later brutally raped, beat and tortured her in his penthouse sex dungeon, despite her pleas for him to stop. The complaint alleged that after the rape and beating, Mahaney urged Parker not to report it and even paid for her college tuition and apartment in California.

But Parker, who sought millions of dollars in damages from Mahaney and Rubin in her original complaint, filed court papers this week voluntarily discontinuing the suit against Mahaney. Her case still stands against Rubin, who faces separate allegations from other women alleging sexual assaults and human trafficking.

Parker voluntarily discontinued all of her claims against Mahaney “with prejudice,” meaning she cannot revive her suit against him. She also signed a sworn statement, dated March 17, in which she says including Mahaney in the complaint was a mistake and that he bears no responsibility for what happened to her.

She says the assault changed her life irreparably and left her physically traumatized and emotionally hurt and confused. She said she struggles to come to terms with what happened and find a path toward achieving the sort of life she deserves.

“Earlier this year, I decided that, to move on with my life, I needed to tell the story of what I endured and to seek justice through the court system,” her statement says. “As part of that effort, I brought a lawsuit against not only the man who committed the assault, Mr. Howard Rubin, but also against Kevin Mahaney, with whom I was friends at the time of the assault. I now realize my decision to include Kevin in the lawsuit was a mistake and that he bears no responsibility for what happened to me. Kevin played no role in the attack, assisted me in its immediate aftermath, and continued supporting me for months thereafter.”

Mahaney, who lives in New York and is a Bangor native, has been president and chief executive officer of Olympia for 30 years and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Law degree from Thomas College in 1996. He was a trustee of University of Maine System and has owned and operated hotels for 45 years, according to the Olympia website.

Hotels developed by Olympia include the Hotel at Oberlin, at Oberlin College in Ohio; The Inn at Swarthmore, at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania; and Hilton Garden Inn, Durham University Medical Center, in North Carolina, according to the site.

Last week, before the discontinuance was filed, Colby College issued a statement saying it had learned of the lawsuit against Mahaney, but a college spokesperson would not give further details.

“Colby College had engaged the Olympia Cos. as its development and management partner on a hotel in Waterville, Maine, which is still in the early planning stages,” the Colby statement says. “Since learning of the allegations, Colby College has terminated its agreement with the Olympia Cos. and is currently planning to self-develop the project, as it has done with other downtown properties.”

A spokesperson for Mahaney issued a statement last week saying “we continue to vehemently deny these preposterous allegations” and called Colby’s decision to terminate the development agreement premature and “an unjust overreaction.”

“As we have said all along, Kevin Mahaney did not introduce the plaintiff to Howard Rubin and does not know him, so Mr. Mahaney’s alleged participation in this incident is not just implausible, but impossible.”

The old Levine’s clothing store building on Main Street in downtown Waterville has been demolished. Colby College plans to build a so-called boutique hotel on the site. Staff file photo by Michael G. Seamans

Then on Monday, Parker, through her attorney, Kevin Landau, filed her “stipulation of voluntary discontinuance” in the New York Supreme Court.

An email sent to Landau on Tuesday seeking comment and a phone message left for him Wednesday at his New York City office were not returned.

Contacted on Wednesday, Rubin attorney Edward A. McDonald, of New York City, issued a statement saying his client “engaged in consensual relationships” and does not know Mahaney and never met him.

“He had never even heard his name until they were improperly joined in a lawsuit,” McDonald said.

Parker’s original complaint against Rubin and Mahaney, filed in the Supreme Court of the State of New York and dated Jan. 9, 2018, describes an alleged horrific rape and torture by Rubin, who the complaint says is a top portfolio manager at Soros Fund Management, LLC, in New York City. It also alleged a cover-up by Mahaney, described as chief executive officer of 1 Comm Connect LLC and Olympia Equity Investors.

Mahaney filed a motion to dismiss all claims against himself, dated March 12, saying he had been named as a “tag-along defendant, presumably because he is a wealthy individual.” The motion said nothing in Parker’s complaint even remotely suggested Mahaney contributed to or had anything to do with any of the alleged abuse, Mahaney was not aware of the abuse until after it occurred, and he never met and does not know Rubin.

“The only allegations against Mr. Mahaney in connection with the incident are that Mahaney introduced plaintiff to someone — not to Mr. Rubin, but to another person who then subsequently introduced her to Mr. Rubin,” the motion stated.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17

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