SKOWHEGAN — A jury began deliberating Tuesday in the trial of a Pittsfield woman accused of sexually assaulting a teenage minor last year.

Davina Petchonka, 39, who is the parent of a child mistakenly shot three years ago by a drive-by shooter in Waterville, is charged in connection with the sexual assault. Her trial, presided over by Superior Court Chief Justice Robert Mullen, began on Tuesday just before 9 a.m. at the Somerset County Superior Court in Skowhegan.

With only three witnesses called and little evidence to present beyond their testimony, both the state and the defense rested their cases by 3 p.m., allowing the 12-person jury to begin their deliberations.

The jurors could decide as early as Wednesday whether the state proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Petchonka had sexual intercourse that involved a minor as well as her longtime boyfriend, Charles “Chuck” Frost, 41, sometime between Jan. 1 and Feb. 28 last year in Pittsfield.

The Morning Sentinel is not reporting some elements of the case in an effort to protect the identity of the alleged victim.

Petchonka and Frost used to live in Waterville and are the parents of a child who was shot in the back Feb. 28, 2020, by a drive-by shooter who mistakenly believed someone else lived in their apartment on Summer Street in Waterville. The child, 7 at the time, was in her bedroom and the bullet went through the wall of her bedroom and into her back. She was taken to Maine Medical Center in Portland and returned home to Waterville nearly a week later. Two men were charged and convicted in connection with the shooting.


On Tuesday, the alleged victim testified that the couple engaged in a sex act with them last year before they turned 18. The teenager first came forward about the assault last October by confiding in a trusted faculty member at their school, who referred the case to Detective Jeremy Leal with the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office.

During Leal’s interview with Petchonka – of which the state played a portion for the jurors Tuesday – the 39-year-old admitted to having sexual intercourse with the minor but repeatedly insisted she hadn’t wanted to.

“(Frost and the victim) talked me into it,” Petchonka said in the interview recorded late last year. “I didn’t want to do it but they wouldn’t leave me alone.”

Petchonka and Frost were arrested on Dec. 1 and indicted by a grand jury in May. Petchonka pled not guilty to both charges at her arraignment earlier this year.

On Tuesday, Petchonka and her lawyer, Jennifer Cohen (who told the Morning Sentinel that she’s an independent practitioner) argued that the victim was actually 18 years old at the time of the incident, and went further, saying that Petchonka herself was actually the one being assaulted. She was coerced into sexual intercourse by Frost and the victim, Cohen argued.

“Davina said ‘no’,” Cohen said Tuesday. “She was like a deer in the headlights. It was a terrible situation; she couldn’t defend herself.”


But the state, represented by Timothy Snyder with the Somerset County District Attorney’s Office, pointed to the fact that during Petchonka’s interview with police, she stated that she knew the sexual intercourse “was wrong” and never mentioned feeling victimized until testifying during the trial on Tuesday.

The victim took the stand Tuesday to say that they were “certain” they had not turned 18 years old at the time of the sexual intercourse, which they said Petchonka not only consented to but, with Frost, initiated.

“(Petchonka) said it was OK,” the victim testified. “She didn’t seem uncomfortable at the time, I thought.”

The jury reconvenes Wednesday morning. The charges against Petchonka carry a prison term of up to 10 years, District Attorney Maeghan Maloney said earlier this year.

Frost is scheduled to stand trial beginning Nov. 1, facing sexual assault-related charges that can carry a prison term of up to 30 years, Maloney said in a previous interview.

Related Headlines

Comments are not available on this story.