A Lansdale man has been acquitted of child sex charges by Hancock County Superior Court in Maine.
Mark Colantonio, 35, of Towamencin, was charged with three counts of assault, three counts of unlawful sexual touching and one count of sexual abuse of a minor, according to Mount Desert Islander newspaper.
The acquittal occurred on June 14.
According to The Maine Sun Journal, Colantonio had three related charges thrown out as his trial last week.
Colantonio was found innocent of three assault charges and one sexual abuse of a minor charge by a jury, according to the article.
Jeff Toothaker represented Colantonio in court. He is quoted in The Maine Sun Journal that the presiding judge dismissed three unlawful sexual touching charges after the alleged victim - who was related to him through marriage - testified that Colantonio touched her waist and no other parts of her body.
Toothaker said in the article that someone is charged with sexual touching when the groin, buttocks or inner thigh of another person is touched.
Colantonio was accused of sexually molesting a family member under 15 years old while staying in Bar Harbor, ME over three days beginning June 22, 2009, according to Hancock County, ME Assistant District Attorney Mary Kellett in The Mount Desert Islander article.
The article in Mount Desert Islander stated the case was filed in Ellsworth District Court and later transferred to superior court for a jury trial.
Toothaker is quoted in The Maine Sun Journal that the allegations arose at the same time that Colantonio's ex-wife was seeking a divorce from him.
Colantonio passed polygraph tests about his background before being accused, as he was undergoing law enforcement training, according to the article.
Testimony about the divorce, a child custody battle and law enforcement training were used at the jury trial, the article said.
Toothaker is quoted in The Maine Sun Journal:
“He got bombarded by this in his divorce. He’s happy [with the acquittal]. He’s home.”
Kellett said in The Maine Sun Journal she disputed the allegations were a fabrication in an attempt to influence divorce proceedings and the custody battle.
The alleged victim told classmates at school about the accusations, according to the article in The Maine Sun Journal. The students told teachers and the school then contacted the alleged victim's parents, according to the article. Kellett is quoted as saying that process is not what one would expect if allegations were made up.
Kellett said in The Maine Sun Journal that it was the state's position that Colantonio did touch the girl's buttocks. However, the judge dismissed the unlawful sexual touching charges.
Kellett told The Maine Sun Journal that the three assault charges and the one for sexual abuse of a minor, which all stemmed from the same alleged incidents of unwanted touching, were not dismissed.
Colontonio entered a not guilty plea on June 7, 2011, according to the Mount Desert Islander. He was represented in court by Doug Chapman of Bar Harbor in 2011.