Maine’s attorney general says civilian law enforcement and prosecutors can do more to communicate with the Maine National Guard and military victims of sexual assault.

Attorney General Aaron Frey’s report, submitted last week to the Legislature’s Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee, outlines how allegations of sexual assault and harassment within the Guard were handled during the five-year period ending last March. It is the third review in the past year of how those cases are treated.

The report was mandated by a law passed last year after female soldiers complained to lawmakers that the Guard wasn’t strongly enforcing its own policies and there was little outside oversight.

Lawmakers began considering new oversight measures after female soldiers told the Bangor Daily News about retaliation and a predatory culture within the Guard.

Last year, the Advisory Council on Military Sexual Trauma – established by executive order – released a series of recommendations to improve how the National Guard responds to sexual assault and harassment complaints. A federal review by the National Guard Bureau found that the Maine National Guard’s policies complied with federal regulations.

Rep. Morgan Rielly, D-Westbrook, who introduced the legislation calling for the latest report, has asked the chairs of the Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee to hold a briefing with the attorney general to publicly discuss its findings.


“It is absolutely crucial that the legislature continues to support members of the Maine National Guard and veterans who have experienced military sexual trauma along with improving systems of accountability and prevention,” Rielly said in a statement.


In the report, Frey detailed the examination of each allegation, whether it was adequately and properly investigated by a law enforcement agency, whether the investigation results were communicated to a prosecutorial office and if that office took appropriate action, and whether the results of the investigation and any prosecution were communicated to Maine National Guard officials.

Most of the incidents reviewed occurred before significant policy and programming changes were outlined in a March 2022 report from the Maine Adjutant General, which said “tremendous efforts” were being made within the Guard to train enlisted personnel and command staff and to enhance access to victim support and services, Frey wrote.

For its review, Frey’s office asked the state’s eight district attorneys and police agencies in Maine to provide records of all sexual assault and harassment investigations involving Guard members during the five-year period.

Some records described unlawful sexual touching, sexual contact and gross sexual assault, according to the report. None included allegations that weapons were used against a victim.


There were no complaints reported in three of the prosecutorial districts. Law enforcement in other districts said they investigated allegations but did not refer them to prosecutors, which is now required, because of a lack of evidence or a victim who didn’t want to make a report to civilian police.

There are two pending cases involving Guard members in the district that covers Androscoggin, Franklin and Oxford counties, the report said.

The report found that Guard officials usually did contact police on behalf of victims, but in some cases not until years after the alleged incidents took place, too late to press charges.

In several cases, victims did not want to report incidents to civilian authorities or they could not be contacted by police. There were multiple situations where police determined the reported abuse did not constitute a crime.

Frey noted that communication between prosecutors, law enforcement and Guard officials appears to have improved in recent years.

Frey’s recommendations also included more collaborative training for victim witness advocates, training for the Guard on Maine statutes and the criminal justice process, and better documentation by law enforcement of efforts to contact victims to confirm whether they chose to participate in criminal investigations and to ensure they have information about organizations that assist survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence.

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