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State v. Cote

Supreme Judicial Court of Maine

June 23, 2015

STATE OF MAINE
v.
CLARENCE COTE

Argued April 7, 2015.

Judgment affirmed.

On the briefs:

Stephen C. Smith, Esq., Bangor, for appellant Clarence Cote.

R. Christopher Almy, District Attorney, and Susan J. Pope, Asst. Dist. Atty., Prosecutorial District V, Bangor, for appellee State of Maine.

At oral argument:

Stephen C. Smith, Esq., for appellant Clarence Cote.

Susan J. Pope, Asst. Dist. Atty., for appellee State of Maine.

Panel: SAUFLEY, C.J., and ALEXANDER, MEAD, GORMAN, JABAR, and HJELM, JJ.

OPINION

HJELM, J.

[¶1] Clarence Cote appeals from a judgment of conviction entered by the trial court ( Anderson, J. ) after a jury found him guilty of two counts of gross sexual assault (Class A), 17-A M.R.S.A. § 253(1)(B), (4) (1983).[1] Cote contends that his constitutional right to a fair trial was violated by the State's failure to preserve a recording of a police interview of the victim and by the State's delay in seeking an indictment. We affirm the judgment.

I. BACKGROUND

[¶2] The record, viewed in the light most favorable to the State, establishes the following facts. See State v. Marroquin-Aldana, 2014 ME 47, ¶ 2, 89 A.3d 519.

[¶3] In August 2012, Cote was indicted by a grand jury for two counts of gross sexual assault based on allegations that he sexually abused his niece in July and August 1990. Shortly after the abuse occurred, the victim moved from Lincoln to Millinocket and no longer saw Cote. In 1992, Cote moved out of Maine. The victim reported the assaults sometime after that, and her allegations were eventually referred to the Millinocket Police Department. In December 1994, a Millinocket detective conducted a recorded interview of the victim at her middle school. ...


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