Jonathan M. Michaud, 30, of Augusta, left, and his lawyer, Scott Hess, stand Monday while the jury enters the courtroom at the Capital Judicial Center in Augusta. A mistrial was declared Wednesday in Michaud’s trail on two counts of unlawful sexual contact involving a girl who was younger than 12. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel file

AUGUSTA — A deadlocked jury was unable to reach a verdict Wednesday in the trial of an Augusta man accused of sexually abusing a girl, including one incident in which he allegedly lured her into touching his genitals using a toy box.

A mistrial was declared in the jury trial of Jonathan M. Michaud, 30, on two counts alleging he twice subjected a girl younger than 12 to sexual contact between 2018 and 2019. The girl was 7 and 8 years old when the alleged offenses occurred, according to testimony.

Jurors deliberated for about eight hours over two days at the Capital Judicial Center in Augusta, before coming back to Superior Court Justice Julia Lipez late Wednesday afternoon to say they could not reach a unanimous decision.

Polled independently by Lipez, each of the 12 jurors said the jury was deadlocked and he or she did not believe that with further deliberation or instructions, the deadlock would be resolved.

Lipez said jurors sent a note saying one member of the jury was clearly not going to budge from his or her stance, making it impossible to reach a unanimous decision, as required for jury verdicts.

After meeting with the lawyers for both sides, Lipez declared a mistrial. She said the case would be scheduled for docket call Nov. 1 to determine how it will proceed.


Michaud’s lawyer, Scott Hess, asked that cash bail requirements be waived for his client, who Hess said has never failed to appear in court while out on bail since 2020.

Hess said cash bail should be waived for Michaud “especially given the length of time it has taken to get to this point, and there has been a mistrial and we’ll be doing this again.”

Assistant District Attorney Michael Madigan agreed to waive some bail conditions, but said “cash bail is appropriate.”

“Being through a trial that resulted in a hung jury doesn’t really change the circumstances,” Madigan said.

Lipez set cash bail at $1,000, and continued conditions that Michaud not have contact with children younger than 12.

The two charges against Michaud are Class B offenses, punishable by up to 10 years in prison.


In one of the incidents, Michaud allegedly got the girl to touch him by asking her to play a game in which she put her hands into a cardboard box he was holding at his midsection and tried to guess what object was inside, according to Madigan.

The box was from Build-A-Bear Workshop, the national chain of create-your-own stuffed animal shops, and had round holes in two opposite sides.

Madigan said the girl reported she first felt a stuffed toy inside the box, and then felt something she thought was Michaud’s penis, according to the girl’s testimony.

In the other incident, Michaud allegedly grabbed the girl by the ankles while she was counting kittens in a litter beneath her bed. Michaud reportedly tickled her feet with his hands and then with something else that she said felt like skin, but that she could not see because she could not turn to look.

In his closing statements, Madigan told jurors they had heard two clear statements from the girl about what Michaud did to the girl. Testimony from other witnesses, including the girl’s mother, and evidence collected by investigators backed up those statements, Madigan said, noting the girl’s mother had testified at the trial that Michaud had previously shown he had a foot fetish.

Investigators found a single sperm cell that matched Michaud’s DNA on the outside of the box.


The girl “described a Build-A-Bear box, her Build-A-Bear box, which just so happens to have (Michaud’s) sperm on it,” Madigan said to jurors Tuesday. “Why would an  8-year-old describe the box randomly then, lo and behold, coincidentally, there’s Jon’s sperm on it? That’s not reasonable doubt. That’s not even close.”

Hess said inaccurate assumptions were made about what had happened between Michaud and the girl after the foot incident, which Hess said only involved Michaud tickling the girl’s feet. Hess said the girl did not like having her feet tickled so she told her mother.

Hess also said the only physical evidence in the case, the trace of a single sperm cell, was the result of sloppy, error-filled processing and DNA testing by state investigators at the lab.

He said investigators issued a second report, making multiple corrections to their findings, but did not explain why they needed to do so, which he said creates reasonable doubt about the quality and reliability of the evidence.

“The significance of this is obvious, but the state would like to dismiss it as some type of error by the lab,” Hess said. “People make mistakes. But sloppiness doesn’t prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, the allegations against Jon.”

The Kennebec Journal is not naming the girl because the newspaper’s policy is not to identify alleged victims of sexual crimes.

The case was investigated by the Augusta Police Department after the girl told her mother about the allegations.

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