Wade Drew Brayman appears for his sentencing hearing at the Waldo Judicial Center in Belfast on Tuesday. Brayman was convicted in March last year on several counts of sexual assault involving a minor. Dylan Tusinski/Morning Sentinel

BELFAST — A former Liberty man who was convicted last year on charges of sexual assault against a minor is scheduled to be sentenced Thursday following years of repeated judicial delays that continued in court even this week.

Wade Drew Brayman, 65, who was a former China- and Winslow-area food pantry employee, was arrested in 2019 on seven counts of gross sexual assault, one count of aggravated assault and one count of failure to comply with the sex offender registry. He was found guilty by a jury and convicted in March 2023 of repeatedly sexually assaulting a juvenile several years earlier at his home in Liberty.

After years of proceedings and eight defense lawyers who withdrew from the case over disagreements with Brayman, a sentencing hearing began Monday at the Waldo Judicial Center and lasted about 15 hours over the next two days. Brayman, who represented himself, subverted the expectations of a typical sentencing hearing by filing a motion for a new trial over claims that court officials and law enforcement had tampered with the jury via cellphones.

District Court Judge Eric Walker, presiding over the case, denied the motion for a new trial on Tuesday. Walker became visibly annoyed as the hearing dragged on, saying Brayman’s claims were baseless.

“I’ve never heard of a case taking 13 months to get to sentencing after the jury has come to a verdict,” Walker said. “The verdict is solid. I don’t think there’s any reason to suspect anything improper was going on.”

Brayman has been in police custody since his arrest and is currently being held at the Knox County Correctional Facility in Rockland. He has a work history that includes jobs at food pantries in the greater Waterville area.


He was initially scheduled to receive his sentence in November but the decision was delayed after his eighth court-appointed lawyer withdrew from the case. Each lawyer said Brayman criticized their work, withheld information and refused to communicate with them.

Wade Drew Brayman, left, appears for his sentencing hearing at the Waldo Judicial Center in Belfast on Tuesday. Brayman was convicted in March last year on several counts of sexual assault involving a minor. Dylan Tusinski/Morning Sentinel

Judge Walker in November declined to provide another lawyer for Brayman, saying the man had implicitly waived his right to legal counsel after eight defense attorneys and ordered Brayman to represent himself. Walker said at the time he’d never made such an order in 10 years on the judicial bench, but that it was necessary because of Brayman’s “disturbing” conduct of attacking the work of his court-appointed attorneys over many years.

The case is being prosecuted by Bill Entwisle, Hancock County’s assistant district attorney. At Tuesday’s hearing, Entwisle recommended Brayman be sentenced to 26 years in jail with all but 20 years suspended, followed by six years of probation for the first count of gross sexual assault. He recommended Brayman receive concurrent 20-year sentences for each of the other six gross sexual assault charges, along with 10 additional years followed by three years of probation for the charge of aggravated assault.

In total, the state is asking that Brayman receive 34 years in prison, with all but 20 years suspended, followed by nine years of probation.

Walker declined to issue a sentence Tuesday and instead postponed a decision until Thursday, saying that because Brayman is not a lawyer and is representing himself, Brayman needs more time to understand and rebut the state’s proposed sentence.



At the start of Monday’s sentencing hearing, Brayman filed a motion requesting a new trial and claimed law enforcement and court officers colluded with jurors via text message during deliberations.

Brayman conceded he had no proof of any such texts being sent. Instead, Brayman brought six hours of courtroom security camera footage from his trial last March as evidence and called three witnesses to the stand: Jury officer Trevor Carty, detective James Greeley and corporal deputy court marshal Michael Dudley, who were all present for the trial.

Brayman questioned each witness for hours at a time, often pausing for minutes between questions. He repeatedly asked speculative questions about the character of the jurors, their body language, what they were thinking during deliberations and what may have happened off camera.

Brayman showed more than two dozen clips ranging from 30 seconds to several minutes to the judge and witnesses, often taking several minutes to pull up each individual clip. He took about seven hours to show less than 30 minutes of video during Monday’s hearing.

Judge Walker repeatedly accused Brayman of wasting time and “dancing around the issue” during questioning.

“I’ve seen dozens of videos now, none of them show very much at all,” Walker said. “You’re wasting, I think, quite a bit of time here. You’ve beaten this issue to death.”


The security camera footage Brayman presented appeared to show jury officer Carty taking jurors’ cellphones, putting them in manila envelopes and placing them in a blue bin. When jurors were seated in the courtroom, the bin was moved into a hallway leading to the jury room. When jurors moved into the jury room, the bin was moved back into the courtroom proper.

Carty confirmed during his testimony that this is standard procedure to prevent jurors from using their phones during a trial. Brayman claimed the movement allowed improper phone use.

At one point in the video, detective Greeley is seen asking Carty about the movement of the bin. Later in the video, Greeley, Carty and Dudley are all seen conversing after the trial. In another clip, both Greeley and Dudley are seen using their cellphones at the same time before bumping fists minutes later.

Brayman claimed this was proof that they were showing each other how to block text messages from jurors.

“The sanctity of the jury room was compromised,” he said. “It really puts in question the voting of the jury, but again, I don’t have cameras in there and I don’t have audio in there.”



Brayman was adamant that the authorities were texting with a juror he dubbed “Juror Three.” Juror Three was seen on video reaching for the bin at one point and Brayman alleged a flash of light could be seen from the juror’s hand, though Judge Walker said it was inconclusive.

Brayman claimed the footage was evidence that Greeley and Dudley intimidated Carty into allowing Juror Three to use their phone before sending them text messages about the case.

“The rest of my life hinges on the actions of Juror Three,” Brayman said.

All three witnesses said under oath they did not text jurors, see any cellphone use or engage in improper conduct during the trial.

At several points, Brayman attempted to turn the discussion from the alleged texts being sent to broader cellphone use within the courtroom. He pointed to an administrative court order prohibiting the use of electronic devices in a courtroom without approval of a judge and alleged that jurors, law enforcement and court officials all used their phones during the trial.

Judge Walker repeatedly reminded him that his motion for a new trial hinged on alleged communications between jurors and law enforcement — not just the use of cellphones in the courtroom in general.


Brayman, in turn, accused Walker of preventing him from showing evidence.

“I am — otherwise I could be here for days watching normal deliberations in 30-second snippets,” Walker responded. “We’re wasting time, Mr. Brayman.”

Brayman filed a motion for continuance at the end of the hearing Tuesday, saying he needed more time to review additional angles of security camera footage. Walker denied the motion.

“I’ve gone out of my way to give you as much time as possible to review, but there comes a point when this has to be heard.” Walker said. “I don’t anticipate that the other camera views would change anything at all. Most of the testimony here the last two days has not focused on the central issue.”

The sentencing hearing is scheduled to resume at 8:30 a.m. Thursday at Waldo Judicial Center. Brayman said Tuesday that he plans to appeal Walker’s decision.

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