BELFAST, Maine — A former Waldo County automotive technology instructor who sexually assaulted a student will spend two months in jail.
Michael Gagnon, 48, of Winslow, pleaded guilty last year to charges of gross sexual assault. As part of a deferred sentence, those charges were dropped last week in Waldo County Superior Court. Instead, Gagnon pleaded guilty to Class D assault and was sentenced to 364 days at the Kennebec County Jail, with all but two months suspended. Following his release, he also will spend one year on probation, during which time he will be prohibited from having contact with the victim and from having unsupervised contact with females under age 18, other than his daughter.
The former Waldo County Technical Center teacher was suspended from his position after his April 2014 arrest and subsequently resigned. He also was let go from the roster of Mount View High School in Thorndike, where he had coached softball for more than a decade.
The situation came to light after a school official heard rumors that Gagnon was involved in an inappropriate relationship with one of his students. Although he initially denied to police that he had done anything wrong, he later admitted among other things spending the night with the 17-year-old student at a Bangor hotel, according to documents filed in court.
Last February, Waldo County District Attorney Geoffrey Rushlau told the BDN that the state agreed to the deferred disposition because a judge had decided to exclude from the case statements that Gagnon had made to police. Rushlau said the state would have had to rely exclusively on the victim, who “had made it very clear throughout the investigation how unwilling she was” to cooperate with prosecutors and had tried to recant what she had related.
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.