ROCKPORT, Maine — The Maine Supreme Judicial Court rejected Tuesday the appeal of a Rockport man convicted of sexually assaulting a young girl over two years.
The justices ruled there were no errors by the trial judge in allowing certain testimony to be heard by the jury in the trial of Erik L. Vultee. The defense argued the judge improperly allowed testimony to be heard. Justice Jeffrey Hjelm sentenced Vultee in September 2014 to 22 years in prison with all but 14 years suspended and ordered him to serve probation for 14 years upon his release.
The justices pointed out the defense attorney did not object to the testimony when it was offered at trial.
“We recognize that a defendant’s trial strategy may sometimes benefit from the admission of testimony that the defendant could, by objection, prevent the jury from hearing. This appears to be just such a case, because Vultee’s defense focused on demonstrating conflicts in the information that the victim gave different individuals,” the court stated in its ruling.
Vultee was convicted of 10 counts of unlawful sexual contact, as well as single counts of attempted gross sexual assault, visual aggression against a child, sexual misconduct with a child and unlawful sexual touching.
Vultee did not testify during his trial but maintained his innocence at the sentencing hearing.
To reach a sexual assault advocate, call the Statewide Sexual Assault Crisis and Support Line at 800-871-7741, TTY 888-458-5599. This free and confidential 24-hour service is accessible from anywhere in Maine. Calls are automatically routed to the closest sexual violence service provider.