AUGUSTA — A Hermon man initially charged with kidnapping had that charge dropped, but was sentenced to 51 days in jail and two years of probation after pleading guilty to charges of criminal restraint, domestic violence assault and obstructing the report of a crime.

On June 30, 2018, Nicholas G. Page, now 19, argued with a woman who then walked away from his Hermon home. He caught up to her in his car and after she got into the car — court testimony indicated Page said she got in willingly, while the victim had indicated she was forced into the car — drove to Albion, refusing to let her out of the vehicle and taking her cellphone along the way. Page crashed the car some 600 feet off the road in Albion. A couple who came out to see what was happening told police they saw him push the woman to the ground once they had both gotten out of the car.

The woman, also 19, said — in a letter her mother read in court at Page’s sentencing Monday — that though she is working to overcome it, the incident changed her from an optimistic, independent person who always sought the good in people and who enjoyed going out with friends and was proud to have her own apartment at such a young age. Now she is someone now scared to be in her apartment alone, who detached herself from society and whose anxiety led to not being able to sleep at night. She has been hesitant to form relationships “because of my fear of being abused and controlled.”

The victim wrote that she used to ask herself what she did to deserve what happened to her, but now knows “I am not weak. I am not alone. I am not a bad person. I didn’t do anything to deserve what happened to me on June 30, 2018.”

Page, who has no other crimes on his record, apologized to the victim in court, to Justice Michaela Murphy for committing a crime, and his own family for them having to be there with him in court as he faced sentencing. He took responsibility for his actions, saying no one was to blame for the incident other than he.

“Clearly I was wrong in what I did,” Page, dressed in a suit and tie, said. “I’ve learned my lesson, your honor. I’m sorry and I hope you’ll never see me in this courtroom again.”

Family members of both the victim and defendant said the incident was a moment in time that has negatively altered the paths of both of their young lives.

The victim’s mother said her daughter’s positive attitude was replaced with anger and frustration, and the mother said she felt like she had failed in keeping her child safe. With the support of her friends and family, she said, her daughter is starting to become more like her old self — but “the events of that day in June will always be there for myself, and (her daughter), to deal with.”

The Kennebec Journal does not identify victims of domestic violence without their permission.

Page’s mother, sister, aunt and father all testified Monday that he is a good person of high moral character who while in high school and as an athlete was a good teammate and mentor to younger players, who was always there to help others, who works hard and who joined the Army by undergoing basic training between his junior and senior years of high school because he wanted to serve his country.

“He’s a good kid with a big heart, who made a mistake,” said his mother, Andrea Page.

Page’s family members and Walter McKee, his attorney, said due to the charges against him Page will now not be able to serve in the Army, dashing his hopes of serving his country. His dad said he’d been accepted into an advanced Army training program, and would have been eligible for a $15,000 bonus.

Assistant District Attorney Michael Madigan sought a six-month sentence for Page, arguing 51 days was not enough when considering the totality of his conduct.

The 51 days he was sentenced to was the amount of time he already spent in jail after his arrest. He was sentenced to 270 days on the domestic violence charge, but all of that time is suspended, meaning he won’t serve it unless he violates probation conditions. He was sentenced to two years of probation with conditions including that he have no contact with the victim or her family, that he complete a certified program for batterers, and that he perform 60 hours of community service.

Murphy questioned why the kidnapping charge was dropped. Madigan replied that the criminal restraint charge fit Page’s conduct and the guilty pleas were the result of an agreement made without going to trial.

Murphy said the victim not having to recount what happened to her to a jury in a trial is a benefit of the plea agreement. She also said 51 days is a fair amount of jail time for someone charged with their first domestic violence offense, and that other people have done less time for causing more physical harm to their victims. But she also said emotional and psychological effects of violence, done by someone who you once felt affection towards, can take a big toll.

“It’s a violation of trust, of someone’s physical safety, that takes time to overcome,” Murphy said. “Mr. Page I’m not sure you understand how badly you hurt her, emotionally. But I think you’re capable of figuring it out.”

 

Keith Edwards — 621-5647
[email protected]
Twitter: @kedwardskj


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