Local attorney denies violating court agreement
Augusta — A Waldoboro attorney may have a plea deal revoked for reportedly assaulting a woman in July, a day after he admitted his guilt in a previous domestic incident involving the same victim.
Philip Cohen, 45, made an initial appearance Aug. 26 in Kennebec County Superior Court and denied that he violated the court agreement, said Cohen's attorney Walter McKee. An evidentiary hearing is scheduled for early October, with Justice Roland Cole presiding, McKee said.
It is not yet known where the hearing will be held, McKee said.
Androscoggin Assistant District Attorney Andrew Matulis, who is prosecuting the case, also is seeking to revoke Cohen's post-conviction bail and deferred disposition.
Matulis wrote in a motion dated July 23 there is evidence to suggest Cohen violated the terms of a court agreement by assaulting a female victim and obstructing the report of a crime.
On July 11, Cohen pleaded guilty to one count of violating conditions of release and a disorderly conduct charge for contacting the victim through text messages after he was arrested for assaulting her. The domestic violence assault charge was dismissed. Through a plea bargain, Cohen was sentenced to a one-year deferred disposition with the condition he was to commit no criminal act, according to court documents. The good outcome of the agreement would have been a fine, said McKee. If the agreement is terminated, Cohen could face an open sentence, he said.
On July 14, Lincoln County Sheriff's deputies were told Cohen assaulted a woman at a camp in Jefferson, according to court papers.
A family member of the victim told police she heard Cohen and the victim fighting, then heard slapping and banging noises. The victim then yelled for somebody to call the police, and ended up calling 911 herself on Cohen's phone, but was unable to speak with dispatch because Cohen took the phone and shut it off, according to an affidavit filed by Detective Robert M. McFetridge.
Cohen then left the camp and the victim was seen with a swollen lip that was bleeding. The victim told police Cohen had attempted to put his fist in her mouth, but said what had occurred was not what she considered a domestic assault, and said Cohen did not hit her. She described the fight to police as a pushing and shoving match, said court papers.
In a prior incident from November, when Cohen was charged with domestic violence assault, the victim, who now lives abroad, said she would have come back to Maine to testify at a trial, but Cohen had used her email address to send a message saying she would not testify, said court papers.
Police were told Cohen had traveled abroad to see the victim twice when he was not allowed to have contact with her, including one instance, when he arrived unannounced, broke the doors in her home and assaulted her with a frying pan, said the affidavit.
The victim told police she feels no matter what happened, Cohen will get away with it.
Cohen practices at Cohen & Cohen in Waldoboro.
Courier Publications' reporter Juliette Laaka can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 118 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.