Argued: October 27, 2016
Merritt T. Heminway, Esq. (orally), H&H LawCenter, P.A.,
Portland, for appellant Walter A. Parker
Stephanie Anderson, District Attorney, and Meghan E.
Connelly, Asst. Dist. Atty. (orally), and Trevor Savage,
Stud. Atty., District Attorneys Office, Portland, for
appellee State of Maine
Lawrence C. Winger, Esq., amicus curiae pro se
SAUFLEY C.J., and ALEXANDER, MEAD, GORMAN, JABAR, HJELM, and
Walter A. Parker appeals the sentence imposed on him by the
trial court (Cumberland County, Warren, J.)
following a resentencing hearing. The sentence was imposed
following Parkers plea of guilty to three counts of gross
sexual assault (Class A), 17-A M.R.S. § 253(1)(C)
(2016), and two counts of unlawful sexual contact (Class B),
17-A M.R.S. § 255-A(1)(E-1) (2016). All charges involved
sexual assaults on a nine-year-old girl over an extended
period of time. The court ultimately sentenced Parker to a
twenty-year term of imprisonment followed by fifteen years of
supervised release, in accordance with 17-A M.R.S §
1231(2)(C) (2016) and 17-A M.R.S. § 1252(4-E) (2016).
[¶2] Parker contends that the supervised release
sentencing, mandated by law, is unconstitutional, as a
violation of the due process clause, because it
"punishes [the] defendant for his status and particular
characteristics, and not for substantive criminal
conduct"; and as a violation of the double jeopardy
clause because it "may incarcerate [the] defendant twice
based upon his substantive criminal conduct and not for his
status and particular characteristics." Parker also
contends that imposition of a mandatory term of supervised
release resulted in a sentence to "more prison time than
under a traditional Hewey analysis." We affirm
The sentencing court found the following facts, which are
supported by the record. Prior to the events leading to this
appeal, Parker had a "lengthy criminal history"
including "a few felonies and a lot of
misdemeanors." The prior felonies included burglary,
criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon, and operating a
motor vehicle in violation of the habitual offender law.
Parkers probations on his prior sentences had been
"violated on numerous occasions."
[¶4] The court further found that Parker had sexually
assaulted the nine-year-old victim on several occasions over
an extended period of time, and that Parker was in a position
of trust in the household and acted as a parental figure to
As a result of this conduct, Parker was indicted on two
counts of unlawful sexual contact (Class B) 17-A M.R.S.
§ 255-A(1)(E-1) and three counts of gross sexual assault
(Class A) 17-A M.R.S. § 253(1)(C), all involving a
victim under twelve years of age.
On July 13, 2015, Parker pleaded guilty to all five counts in
the indictment. The court (Clifford, J.) accepted
the plea of guilty, and continued the matter for sentencing
before any judge.
Parker appeared before the court (Warren, J.) for
sentencing on November 20, 2015. At the sentencing hearing,
the State outlined the facts of Parkers sexual violence
against the victim, which had occurred over the course of
more than one year. During the first sentencing hearing, the
State and Parker argued for different sentences, but each
argued for a sentence that would include a significant
underlying sentence, with part of the underlying sentence
suspended and Parker being placed on probation for a
significant period of time following release from
[¶8] For a gross sexual assault committed against a
person under twelve years of age, the basic term of
imprisonment to begin the analysis required by 17-A M.R.S.
§ 1252-C (2016) is set at "a term of at least 20
years." 17-A M.R.S. § 1252(4-E) (2016). As a
result, the court, in calculating the basic term of
imprisonment pursuant to section 1252(4-E) and step one of
its section 1252-C analysis, began with the mandated basic
term of imprisonment of twenty years. The court stated that
Parker was a parental figure in the household and that the
frequency of the sexual violence was a sentence aggravating
factor, particularly because it was committed against a
nine-year-old. The court concluded that this conduct raised
the basic sentence to twenty-two years.
In step two of its section 1252-C analysis, the court
addressed the aggravating and mitigating factors. The court
found that the victim impact was significant in that she was
continuously subjected to this conduct and had been afraid to
tell anyone until a few years after the sexual assaults
stopped. The court also found that Parkers lengthy criminal
history and repeated violations of probation were aggravating
factors. Addressing mitigating factors, the court stated that
Parker had accepted responsibility from the very beginning.
In doing so, he avoided a trial, and the victim would not be
put through that "extraordinarily unpleasant"
experience. The final mitigating factor the court found was
that Parker wants help and counseling, and understands that
he presents a public safety issue. The court noted that the
aggravating and mitigating factors were "in exact
equipoise" and therefore determined that the maximum
period of incarceration was twenty-two years.
At step three of the section 1252-C analysis, and addressing
the issue of probation, the court noted, based on Parkers
psychological evaluation, that Parker was in need of
"not just treatment but supervision, given that he is at
risk of reoffending." As a result, the court determined
that all but fourteen years of Parkers term ...