AUGUSTA — A jury trial began with victim testimony Monday for a Windsor man charged with three counts of unlawful sexual contact and one of gross sexual assault involving a girl.

Now 18 years old, the alleged victim testified the assaults occurred when she was 11 and 12 years old.

The defense lawyer for Peter P. Cayouette, meanwhile, sought to cast doubt on the woman’s testimony, pointing out discrepancies between what she said in court Monday and what she had told a detective and an interviewer with the Children’s Advocacy Center of Kennebec & Somerset Counties, after she had disclosed the alleged incidents in 2020.

Lawyer Darrick X. Banda also suggested the alleged victim resented the man because she, after having become interested in the Black Lives Matter movement, considered him a racist.

Assistant District Attorney Jake Demosthenes asked the alleged victim, who is Black, if she had made up the sexual allegations because she thought Cayouette was a racist. She said no. Demosthenes then asked why she resented Cayouette if she did not think him racist.

“Because he sexually abused me,” she responded.


The alleged victim took the witness stand to describe the alleged assaults that she said occurred in 2017 and 2018, when she was 11 and 12 years old and left alone with Cayouette at his Windsor home, while her mother was at work or taking college classes. The Kennebec Journal is not naming the alleged victim because the newspaper’s policy is not identify alleged victims of sexual assault.

The alleged victim said Cayouette had warned her not to tell anybody. She also said she did not tell anyone because she was afraid she and her mother would have no place else to live.

In 2020, the alleged victim told her friends and, at their urging, her mother about the alleged sexual assaults, before also speaking to the Children’s Advocacy Center interviewer and authorities. The alleged victim and her mother moved out of the house the next day. The alleged victim said she has not spoken to Cayouette since.

In his opening statement, Demosthenes said the alleged victim has never wavered since disclosing the allegations in 2020.

“She’s here today, almost four years (after disclosing), and you’ll see she’s still unwavering that Peter Cayouette committed these crimes against her,” Demosthenes told jurors, urging them to find him guilty on all four counts.

Banda questioned the alleged victim’s testimony, noting she had told the advocacy interviewer (in a recorded interview that was shown in court Monday) that Cayouette had shown her pornography several times on her cellphone, but said in court he had only done it once. Banda also noted that the alleged victim had answered several questions in the recorded interview by saying she did not remember.


In his opening statements, Banda said the alleged victim’s statements about what happened have been inconsistent and it is up to jurors to determine the credibility of what they hear and whether it is enough for them to find Cayouette guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

“The individual that’s accusing my client of a crime can’t remember things, says things that are inconsistent and describes the same events differently,” he told jurors. “Events that, if they happened, you’d think would be burned into her mind.”

The alleged victim said that in the interview, she did not bring up everything Cayouette had allegedly done to her because she just wanted it to be over, what happened was difficult for her to discuss and the morning of the interview she had just moved out of her house and learned her great aunt had died.

Cayouette, according to Banda, works as a counselor to veterans at the Veterans Affairs Medical and Regional Office Center at Togus.

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