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.

CARIBOU, Maine – A former Jehovah’s Witness elder was found guilty of sexually assaulting two children in the early 1990s.

A 12-member jury in Caribou Superior Court found Ernest Fyans, a former elder for Kingdom Hall Jehovah’s Witness in Fort Kent, guilty of both gross sexual assault, a Class A crime, and unlawful sexual contact, a Class C crime, on Sept. 20.

Both assaults involved children under the age of 12, whose families were members of Kingdom Hall, according to court records.

The victim involved with the case of unlawful sexual conduct first reported the abuse in 2002 when she was 16 years old, according to court documents. At the time, a six-year statute of limitations prevented the state from seeking prosecution.

The state revisited that victim’s allegations in 2020 and indicted Fyans in 2021.