Argued: December 15, 2016
J. Drake, Esq. (orally), Drake Law, LLC, Auburn, for
appellant Nathan J. Lacourse
Kathryn Loftus Slattery, District Attorney, and Thomas R.
Miscio, Esq. (orally), Prosecutorial District #1, Alfred, for
appellee State of Maine
SAUFLEY, C.J., and ALEXANDER, MEAD, GORMAN, JABAR, HJELM, and
Based on events occurring during his ten-year-long marriage
to the victim, Nathan J. Lacourse was convicted after a jury
trial of domestic violence assault, domestic violence
stalking, and endangering the welfare of a child.
Lacourse now appeals from the judgment of conviction entered
by the trial court (York County, O'Neil, J.) as
to the charge of domestic violence assault (Class D), 17-A
M.R.S. § 207-A(1)(A) (2016). We conclude that the trial
record contains insufficient evidence for the jury to find,
beyond a reasonable doubt, that the conduct forming the basis
for that crime occurred within the applicable limitations
period. We therefore must vacate the judgment of conviction
and remand for entry of a judgment of acquittal on the
domestic violence assault charge. We also remand for the
court to determine whether resentencing is necessary as to
the stalking and endangering the welfare of a child charges.
Although, as noted above, Lacourse was also convicted of
domestic violence stalking and endangering the welfare of a
child, he challenges only the domestic violence assault
conviction on appeal. We therefore do not discuss facts
relevant only to his other convictions.
Viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the
State, the jury rationally could have found the following
relevant facts beyond a reasonable doubt. See State v.
Fay, 2015 ME 160, ¶ 2, 130 A.3d 364. At some point
during Lacourses ten-year-long marriage with the victim,
Lacourse hit the victim with a ruler on her lower back,
causing her pain and leaving a welt.
On June 6, 2013, a York County grand jury returned an
eight-count indictment charging Lacourse, in Count VII, with
domestic violence assault (Class D), 17-A M.R.S. §
207-A(1)(A). The portion of the indictment setting
forth that charge stated:
On or about August 30, 2012, in Hollis, YORK County, Maine,
NATHAN J LACOURSE, did intentionally, knowingly or recklessly
cause bodily injury or offensive physical contact to [the
victim]. This conduct was committed against a family or
household member as defined by 19-A M.R.S.A. §4002(4).
of discovery, the State provided to Lacourse seventeen
journals, or diaries, that the victim kept during the course
of her relationship with Lacourse. One of the journals
contained an entry dated "8/23/12" stating that
Lacourse struck the victim with a ruler "the other
day." The same journal also contained an entry
"written 8/29/12" describing an incident in which
Lacourse squeezed the victims hand to the point of causing
pain and would not let go.
Lacourse moved for a bill of particulars pursuant to M.R.
Crim. P. 16(c)(1) (Tower 2012-2013),  arguing that the indictment
was too vague for him to prepare his defense and asking the
court to order the State to "confirm" that the
domestic violence assault charge "corresponded] to"
the incident described in the journal in which Lacourse