Most charges dropped against Foxcroft Academy teens in sexual assault case
If you or someone you know needs resources or support related to sexual assault, contact the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault 24/7 hotline at 800-871-7741.
NEWPORT, Maine — A district court judge has dropped almost all charges against two Piscataquis County boys accused of sexually assaulting a fellow Foxcroft Academy student last February, though the 17-year-old boy from Dover-Foxcroft is still alive faces an indictment.
The teenagers were each charged with three counts of serious sexual assault, all crimes stemming from a Feb. 20, 2022 incident in Charleston. The 16-year-old from Charleston was also charged with criminally manipulating a victim and making criminal threats.
District Court Judge Meghan Szylvian dismissed all charges against the 16-year-old primarily on the basis of insufficient evidence, according to a court document dated November 8, 2022. Almost all charges against the 17-year-old have been dropped, although he admitted to a Class C gross sexual assault and a deferred injunction will be issued next month.
In such a proceeding, the court defers the final outcome of the proceeding and the parties involved discuss a settlement. For example, the state could agree to reduce or dismiss a defendant’s charge if he or she is performing responsibilities such as counseling or community service. If so, the 17-year-old could later have his criminal charges dropped.
The cases were sealed months after the teens first appeared in court in May 2022, where they denied the charges and District Court Judge Charles Budd ruled they could continue to attend Foxcroft Academy in person.
These latest documents only became available recently after the Bangor Daily News asked the court to unseal the files to understand the status of the cases.
The 16-year-old was expelled from school, which prevented him from participating in school sports, according to November court documents. He was in counseling at the time.
According to a court clerk, a total of six charges against the 16-year-old – three counts of gross sexual assault, two counts of tampering with a witness, informant or victim and one count of criminal threats – have been dropped.
Szylvian denied the first and second charges against the 17-year-old because he pleaded guilty to other charges, according to a Sept. 28, 2022, parole document. He is scheduled to appear in court on March 17.
The rehabilitation of offenders is the goal of Maine’s juvenile court system. While punishment for criminal activity and rehabilitation are goals for adults, punishment for juveniles is not considered appropriate.