Seth Carey, right, listens to questions from his attorney, James Howaniec, during a disbarment hearing in a Portland courtroom in this 2018 file photo. Credit: Seth Koenig / BDN

A former Republican candidate for district attorney in western Maine has been arrested in Florida on multiple sex crime charges after a three-year investigation.

Seth Carey, 46, of Rumford was arrested in Orlando on Tuesday by local police, according to the Maine State Police. He is facing five charges, including felony charges of attempted gross sexual assault and attempted aggravated sex trafficking and misdemeanor charges of unlawful sexual contact, domestic violence assault and engaging in prostitution.

A 34-year-old woman reported to the Rumford Police Department that Carey had assaulted her in March 2018, when Carey was running as a candidate for the district attorney in Androscoggin, Franklin and Oxford counties.

A judge later suspended Carey’s license for three years for sexual assault, witness tampering and failing to comply with a previous interim order. Prosecutors sought his disbarment, though he was temporarily banned from practicing law for months before his unsuccessful bid.

During those proceedings, a woman testified before a court in August 2018 that Carey had sexually assaulted her while she was renting a room from him in 2017. Carey previously represented the woman in court. She alleged that he pressured her for sex for months and once grabbed her head and forced it toward his crotch, telling her to perform oral sex.

His suspension was upheld by Maine’s highest court. Last year, he agreed with prosecutors who charged him with unauthorized practice of law to not engage in new criminal conduct and abide by the terms of his suspension, the Sun Journal reported.

Carey is best known for his legal trouble and his 2018 run for district attorney, when he shocked many by winning a primary over Alex Willette, a former legislator who was a Sagadahoc County prosecutor at the time and later went onto a White House job under former President Donald Trump. Carey was beaten easily in the general election by Democrat Andrew Robinson.

State police worked with local law enforcement and the U.S. Marshals Service, along with the Florida Carribean/Regional Task Force, to apprehend Carey when he was traveling. The district attorney’s office in Hancock and Washington counties is handling Carey’s prosecution given his past political and legal activity in western Maine.

Carey is currently being held in Florida. A phone number associated with him went straight to voicemail on Tuesday evening.

BDN writer Michael Shepherd contributed to this report.