AUGUSTA — A Belgrade man who oversees facilities maintenance for the Kennebec County government has been arrested on charges of gross sexual assault involving a woman, police said.

James Saucier

James Saucier, 58, was arrested Thursday on three counts of gross sexual assault, which are Class B felony crimes punishable by up to 10 years in prison if convicted, according to Augusta Police Sgt. Jesse Brann. Saucier is facilities manager for Kennebec County, where he has worked for more than 30 years.

The allegations were investigated by Augusta police and would be prosecuted by the Kennebec County District Attorney’s Office.

The alleged victim is a 45-year-old woman and the offenses allegedly took place between February and March in 2020, Brann said.

Saucier turned himself in to the police station and was released from there after posting $1,000 cash bail. Bail conditions include that Saucier has no contact with the alleged victim and no contact with any Kennebec County Correctional Facility inmates.

Saucier has been put on leave from his county job, according to Kennebec County Administrator Robert Devlin.

“James Saucier was put on administrative leave upon the complaint and during the investigation and remains on leave at this time,” Devlin said. “Considering the seriousness of these charges any further questions should be directed to the (county’s) legal counsel.”

The Kennebec County government has an annual budget of $13.6 million that is supported through a county assessment on municipalities, to support the costs of running county operations such as the jail in Augusta. The county has about 170 employees.

Devlin said Saucier has worked for Kennebec County since 1986. Devlin declined to answer any additional questions, including how much Saucier is paid, whether the alleged offenses took place on county property, or whether the county is conducting an internal review of the matter.

The county’s attorney, Peter Marchesi, could not immediately be reached on Tuesday.

Maeghan Maloney, district attorney for Kennebec and Somerset counties, said Michael Madigan, an assistant district attorney who is part of that office’s sexual assault and domestic violence unit, is handling the prosecution of the case.

She said Madigan was selected because he has the skills to take on such a case and because he doesn’t know Saucier well and thus could be unbiased in reviewing the case. Maloney said that some people in her office have had more interaction with Saucier because they work in close proximity, although Saucier is a county employee while attorneys and other workers at the District Attorney’s Office are state employees.

Maloney said Madigan “knew who (Saucier) was, but that was about it.”

“I wanted the prosecutor in charge to be someone who didn’t know the individual involved well and could really make an unbiased review of the evidence,” Maloney said Tuesday. “It’s so important the case be evaluated in an unbiased and unimpassioned way, so if the case goes forward, it is because the elements of the crime are met, that has to be the only factor in deciding what happens. I feel confident Michael Madigan made that analysis and decided the elements of a crime were met and decided the case should go forward.”

She said when there are connections between an attorney in her office and a suspect in a crime she makes sure the attorney with the connection does not handle that case. She said if everyone in the office knows someone being investigated in a crime, she’ll ask a different office to handle the case.

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