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The Portland man wanted in the hit-and-run death of his partner in Acadia National Park has a history of abuse, according to two former partners.
The two women who dated Raymond Lester, 35, told the Portland Press Herald of alleged emotional and physical abuse they endured during their relationships with him.
Lester allegedly struck 35-year-old Nicole Mokeme of South Portland with his 2016 black BMW X3 SUV with the license plate 5614WM sometime between the night of June 18 and the early morning of June 19 at the Schoodic Education and Research Center campus in Winter Harbor, according to the Maine State Police.
Lester has been charged with murder in Mokeme’s death and police continue a nationwide search for him. He had been in a three-year relationship with Mokeme, an activist who was organizing a retreat for Black Mainers in Winter Harbor when she died.
It’s the first homicide in Acadia National Park in 35 years.
Mokeme’s death prompted the two women to come forward about the abuse they said they experienced from Lester.
Ashley Crissinger, 33, told the Press Herald she dated Lester for four years. During that time, he allegedly abused her and their children. She broke off their relationship in 2011 after he allegedly hit her in the face with a hammer and choked her until she passed out.
Ashley Foote, a 30-year-old who dated Lester for just six months around 2011, told the Press Herald he had a “very dark side” and called him a “classic abuser,” detailing a pattern of drug use, physical abuse and controlling behavior.
Lester has four convictions for domestic violence assault and a fifth for violating a protection from abuse order from 2008 to 2011.