Coast Guard chief accused of sexual assaults

By Stephen Betts | Mar 13, 2020

Appleton — A 36-year-old Coast Guard chief is behind bars for being accused of sexually assaulting a teenager on multiple occasions.

Michael J. Craig of Appleton was arrested March 11 on a court warrant charging him with five counts of gross sexual assault and two counts of unlawful sexual contact.

The charges allege that the assaults occurred in 2018 and 2019 involving a teenage girl.

The girl reported the incident Nov. 18 to her school which then contacted State Police, according to an affidavit filed with the court by State Police Detective Hugh Landry.

Craig denied he assaulted the girl, according to police.

Three of Craig's fellow Coast Guard members told Coast Guard investigators that he made inappropriate sexual comments about the teen and they felt awkward with his comments, according to the affidavit.

Craig made his initial appearance in the Knox County court Friday afternoon.

Assistant District Attorney Christopher Fernald asked for bail to be set at $10,000 cash. He also asked that Craig be barred from having any contact with children under 16-years-old.

Defense attorney Laura Shaw asked for bail to be set at $1,500, saying there was no way that he could raise $10,000.

Shaw also attacked the state's case, saying it was far from an open and shut case. Shaw said the alleged victim has significant mental health problems, hallucinations and since recanted the allegation.

Fernald said the girl recanted after being pressured by her mother, who the prosecutor said was an obstructionist in the case.

Judge Brent Davis set bail at $3,000 cash, ordered Craig to sign a Maine Pre-Trial Contract and have no contact with a child under 16 years of age.

A telephone message was left with the Rockland Coast Guard station Friday morning. There was no return call by late Friday.

His next court date is April 30.

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