The embattled Republican candidate for district attorney of Androscoggin, Franklin and Oxford counties testified Friday he has not ended his bid for that office – despite his suspended law license – because the job’s health insurance would cover the cost of the psychiatric treatment he needs.

Seth Carey took the stand in Cumberland County Superior Court on the third and final day of testimony in a hearing on the five-count complaint filed against him by the Maine Board of Overseers of the Bar.

The board is seeking a two-year suspension or disbarment of the 43-year-old Auburn lawyer.

Carey’s license, which already had been conditional stemming from a 2016 board complaint, was suspended April 30 after a Rumford judge handed down a protection from abuse order against Carey for allegedly sexually harassing and assaulting a woman whom he had briefly represented two years earlier and who had been living – at least part time – at his home.

“I need significant treatment and counseling,” Carey said under cross-examination Friday. “I don’t have the ability to do that now.”

But, he continued, choking back tears, “If I win this contest, I’ll have health care and be able to get the treatment I need.”

He later said he also was excited about the prospect of having a salary and the ability to bring fairer and more just treatment to criminal defendants.

Verne Paradie, a Lewiston lawyer who was appointed by the court two years ago to monitor Carey’s law practice, testified Friday by phone from Los Angeles, where he was attending a conference. He said Carey’s law practice was “pretty minimal.”

Paradie said Carey “really didn’t have any clients,” and never had any money.

“I couldn’t believe this kid was surviving,” he said.

Carey said Friday that he had explored getting health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act, but lacked the money for a roughly $500 per month policy. He considered applying for Medicaid, he said.

Asked Friday whether he could get financial assistance from his parents to pay for mental health treatment, Carey testified he does not rely on his parents for financial assistance.

“I’m an adult,” he said. “They’ve helped me so much in the past.”

Carey is hoping his law license will be reinstated in time for him to take office, if elected in November. He must be licensed to practice law in Maine in order to assume the office of district attorney.

He said he believed state law allowed him to run for district attorney even though he is not a licensed lawyer.

By a court order on April 30, Carey was required to remove any reference to his ability to practice law from his stationary, emails, Facebook page, office signs and other public displays.

One of the five counts brought against Carey by the board was dropped Thursday, but Carey’s lawyer, James Howaniec, said Friday that Carey likely had violated some minor Bar rules as alleged by the board, relating to the cessation of his law practice after his recent suspension.

The board’s primary complaint against Carey, though, stemmed from findings of sexual abuse and sexual violence in a protection from abuse order issued in March by a Rumford judge.

Carey, who represented himself at that hearing, said Friday that acting as his own lawyer was “the worst decision of all the bad decisions I’ve made.”

He said he did not believe his accuser would show up for the hearing, and he was “winging it” after she did.

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Carey testified Friday that he had sex with the woman six to 10 times over the past 18 months. He said all but one of those occurred when she was renting a room at his Rumford house. He said those occasions were consensual and had been initiated by the woman half the time.

His accuser testified earlier this week that she had consensual sex with Carey only once, before she moved into his home. Once she was living there, he propositioned her for sex “hundreds” of times and assaulted her three times, she said.

Carey denied any inappropriate sexual behavior toward her and said she would not have been afraid of him.

“She was a very tough girl,” he said.

The woman testified Thursday that she had endured Carey’s inappropriate behavior because she had fled an abusive relationship with another man.

Carey ordered the woman out of his home after she recorded the wrong television channel for him in March. Shortly afterward, she filed for a protection from abuse order.

Carey said he regretted many of the civil lawsuits he filed over the past two years, including one dismissed Thursday by the Maine Supreme Judicial Court that named judges as defendants who criticized him for lacking legal competence.

Paradie told Justice Thomas Warren on Friday that he had advised Carey against filing several of the lawsuits.

“I said, ‘Listen, you can’t say these things,'” Paradie said.

“These people are out to ruin my life,” Paradie said Carey responded.

Paradie said Carey rarely followed his advice.

Paradie’s colleague and Carey’s co-monitor, Heather Seasonwein, said Friday that if he were to focus better, follow legal advice and become better organized, “there’s a possibility” Carey could become a capable lawyer.

Paradie said Carey is a “very likable guy, very intelligent” and passionate about his clients and their cases. Those qualities could make him a “very significant asset” in the legal community, Paradie said.

Carey admitted, however, that he needs intensive psychological therapy for a diagnosed personality disorder, psychiatric counseling and medication for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

“I can’t go on like this,” he testified, dissolving into tears again.

Both sides are expected to deliver closing arguments in the case by October. If the judge rules that Bar violations occurred, the case would be continued to a second hearing phase to consider what sanctions, if any, should be imposed. Those could include conditions, suspension or disbarment.

Carey indicated he would continue to campaign for district attorney of Androscoggin, Franklin and Oxford counties, having won the Republican primary in June.

Should he win the general election in November, Carey said “it would probably be the biggest comeback in Maine political history.”

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