Judge denies new trial for convicted rapist

By Juliette Laaka | Aug 13, 2014
Bradley Lemay.

Rockland — A judge denied a new trial for a convicted rapist Aug. 11, disregarding the man's claims that his counsel provided an inadequate defense because he did not mention the victim's reported sexual behavior with another person.

Bradley Lemay, 48, has spent most of his life incarcerated for sexual violence against women. In 2011, he was sentenced to serve 55 years in prison for entering a Camden woman's home and raping her at knifepoint over a four-hour period in 2010.

A Knox County jury found Lemay guilty of gross sexual assault, criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon, eluding an officer, attempted escape, and tampering with a victim.

Justice Jeffrey Hjelm said Lemay's argument that sex between him and the victim was consensual using information about her reported sexual conduct with another person to bolster his position she would have consented to sexual conduct with him is unpersuasive, because her alleged conduct with another person does not have bearing on the case.

The victim, testifying in 2011, said she feared she was going to be murdered but talked with Lemay during the violent assaults in an effort for him to connect with her and not murder her. Lemay had worked as a landscaper for a company that performed work on her properties.

After he left, the victim called 911, and a high speed chase ensued between Lemay and police. When in custody, Lemay asked his brother to threaten or bribe the victim in order to get her to recant the accusations. Lemay's brother then told police about the request.

Testifying in Knox County Superior Court June 30 during a post conviction review hearing, Lemay maintained his innocence, claiming he did not rape the victim.

"I have done some terrible things, but I am a good person. I am not a monster," he said.

Lemay has previous convictions for rape, burglary and kidnapping and spent more than 20 years in prison before his latest conviction. His earliest possible release date is December 2060, according to the Department of Corrections.

Lemay said his anger toward women stems from affairs his father had when Lemay was a child. He said he blames women for tearing his family apart. He said he would have told this to the court at his sentencing hearing had he been given notification.

Lemay said that he was not aware he could address the court during the sentencing hearing until shortly before the hearing, and that if he had been notified earlier, he would have prepared a statement. Lemay also said his counsel did not speak with him directly about his past, which could have provided evidence to use as a mitigating factor in explaining his behavior. He also believed he was not represented well in his appeal.

Hjelm said Lemay knew from previous convictions of his right to speak during a sentencing hearing, and that although Lemay believed an explanation about his history of violence toward women was a mitigating factor, as well as his good behavior in prison, Hjelm said those facts actually confirm he should be incarcerated as he obeys the law only while in custody.

His court-appointed defense attorney, Christopher MacLean, testified June 30 he did everything he could to provide the best defense for Lemay, and in retrospect, could not think of anything he would have done differently in preparing the defense and subsequent appeal. He said there was no disagreement between himself and Lemay about the defense strategy.

Lemay asserted, through attorney Justin Andrus, MacLean erred when he did not present evidence at the trial Lemay wanted him to, including, according to Lemay, the sexualized behavior of the victim that could have resulted in the jury finding it was reasonable the rape was actually a consensual act. He also claims MacLean did not visit him at the prison when he requested a visit through letters and a phone call.

Assistant District Attorney Christopher Fernald argued June 30 MacLean provided an adequate defense for Lemay, and then asked Lemay if he was unsatisfied with MacLean's work during the trial, why he retained him to represent him in the appeal and subsequent civil case brought against him by the victim.

Lemay said he simply did not know other attorneys, but said it was true he never requested new counsel.

Fernald also asked Lemay if he told MacLean he did a good job during the trial, including acquitting him of three felonies — aggravated assault, burglary and aggravated criminal trespassing. Lemay said he may have told MacLean he did "an alright job."

Courier Publications' reporter Juliette Laaka can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 118 or via email at jlaaka@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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Juliette Laaka
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Juliette primarily covers the cops and courts beat for The Courier-Gazette.

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