Snow falls from the sky above the Sorrento Community Building in Sorrento, Maine on Friday, Dec. 10, 2021. Credit: Bill Trotter / BDN

If you or someone you know needs resources or support related to sexual violence, contact the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault’s 24/7 hotline at 800-871-7741.

The Sorrento deputy fire chief was indicted Thursday by a Hancock County grand jury on a charge of gross sexual assault.

The indictment alleges that Dwayne Clement, 72, of Sorrento, sexually assaulted someone at least once between July 1, 2015 and Dec. 7, 2018.

Although details were scarce about the allegations Friday, both Matthew Foster, district attorney for Hancock County, and William Ashe, Clement’s defense attorney, said that the victim of the alleged crime wasn’t someone Clement met through his work with the town fire department. Both declined further comment.

Joey Clark, the town’s elected fire chief, said Clement has been out on medical leave since this summer, but retains the position of deputy fire chief.

Clark declined further comment.

A charge of gross sexual assault in Maine is categorized as a Class A crime, which can result in a prison sentence of up to 30 years and up to a $50,000 fine if convicted.

Additional details about the accusations against Clement were unavailable.

Clement started as a volunteer firefighter with the department in 1987, according to an article published two years ago in the Ellsworth American weekly newspaper. He has been deputy fire chief for at least a decade. The deputy fire chief is appointed to the position by a vote of the fire department that the chief then approves and sends to the selectmen, according to Clark.

Clement also serves as the town’s assistant emergency management director, as its assistant public safety officer, and as a member of its community building committee, according to Sorrento’s 2020-21 annual report.

A message left Friday afternoon for Robert Wilpan, chairman of Sorrento’s board of selectmen, was not returned. Clement also did not respond to a call for comment Friday afternoon.

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Bill Trotter

A news reporter in coastal Maine for more than 20 years, Bill Trotter writes about how the Atlantic Ocean and the state's iconic coastline help to shape the lives of coastal Maine residents and visitors....