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Towamencin Man Acquitted of Child Sex Abuse Charges in Maine

Mark Colantonio, 35, was accused of sexually molesting a family member under the age of 15 over a three-day period in Bar Harbor, Maine in 2009

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.

Rose Costner July 12, 2012 at 12:22 AM
This is an opportunity to educate our community about child sex abuse. Penny Ettinger, exec. dir. of PEIKids.org, says, “The alarming statistics of child sexual abuse are well substantiated:1in 4 girls will be sexually abused by their 18th birthday.” Contrary to media stories and myths child molesters are not some strange predator hiding in the bushes. “90% of child sexual abuse is committed by someone the child (and the family) knows, trusts and, in many cases, loves. 30% of these cases are committed by a family member.” Penn. Coalition Against Rape reports “The majority of people who commit sexual assault are everyday people who are married with children and regular jobs. They are also...family members. The FBI collects data on all crimes and has found that people falsely report being sexually assaulted at the same rate as other comparable crimes: 3% of the time." RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest Nat'l Network) reports: only 46% of all sexual assaults are reported; only 9% are prosecuted; only 5% are convicted. Faced with the pain, fear and odds against convicting a child sexual molester, why would any victim step forward? THE ANSWER: it puts you on the road to healing, finding peace, ending your victimization, recovering your self-worth, retaking control of your life and acting to help prevent further victims--you win regardless of a criminal justice failure. For the sake of the child in Maine and the children of our community, we pray the jury in Maine got it right.
Dot July 18, 2012 at 01:23 PM
I agree Rose, people just don't realize how often this happens and its mostly by a relative or family friend. When kids allege they have been sexually molested studies show they have. Kids falsely accuse someone of molesting them very, very, very seldom and then its usually due to adult coaching which is easily discovered. “allegations made by child victims match closely with confessions of pedophiles” “children tend to minimize and deny abuse, not exaggerate or over-report such incidents” How often do children’s reports of abuse turn out to be false? Research has consistently shown that false allegations of child sexual abuse by children are rare. Jones and McGraw examined 576 consecutive referrals of child sexual abuse to the Denver Department of Social Services, and categorized the reports as either reliable or fictitious. In only 1% of the total cases were children judged to have advanced a fictitious allegation. Jones, D. P. H., and J. M. McGraw: Reliable and Fictitious Accounts of Sexual Abuse to Children. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 2, 27-45, 1987. In a more recent study, investigators reviewed case notes of all child sexual abuse reports to the Denver Department of Social Services over 12 months. Of the 551 cases reviewed, there were only 14 (2.5%) instances of erroneous concerns about abuse emanating from children. Evidence shows child molesters have many victims so be on guard, we all know juries can make mistakes.
TM July 18, 2012 at 09:21 PM
Has anyone gone to the links in this story? Some of the jury believed he was guilty...they were out for a long time. Some jury member must a held out.
TM July 22, 2012 at 04:52 PM
I googled Toothaker. His full name is Jeff Toothaker. He defended another child molester in Maine this month (maybe that’s his specialty defending child molesters). In this case another seemingly normal man sexually attacked his 13 year old babysitter. This fits the profile of the molester being a family member or person known to the victim. The child has been left with psychological and emotional scars. Like Colantonio, Toothaker had this child molester pleading not guilty but at the last minute this guy confessed. What really caught my attention was Toothaker, instead of expressing any shock that he had been defending a guilty pervert or expressing compassion for the child, instead said, “but for this 15 minutes of stupidity…he’s been pretty much a law-abiding human being.” He knew all along the guy was guilty. He brushed off the crime as "15 minutes of stupidity." This is the kind of “human being” that defends child molesters. He has no remorse in defending child molesters and no compassion for their victims.
James July 22, 2012 at 11:37 PM
In Mark Colantonio’s trial Toothaker says the sex charges against Colantonio were made at the same time his ex-wife filed for divorce and sought custody of their kids. Now if you were married to Mark Colantonio and he’s charged with sexually attacking a child and you have reason to believe he’s guilty cause it’s your kid sister accusing him, why wouldn’t you divorce him and seek custody of the kids???
Sarah August 21, 2012 at 01:41 PM
Colantonio never confessed at the last minute. The article I read said he was found not guilty on all charges. Plus, the judge threw out the sexual charges at the start of trial for lack of evidence. Have to say, I find it ironic that all this happened the same time as Colantonio's divorce precedings started, and that the accuser is his ex's sister (who is now in high school). Did anyone read the facts in this case!?! He's accused of touching her hip. Crazy.
Danielle August 21, 2012 at 01:47 PM
If they "held out" (which was not in the article) it still would only be for assault. What I read is that all sexual charges got dropped at the beginning for lack of evidence.
Andy August 21, 2012 at 01:57 PM
Don't worry, Rose, Maine got it right. Honestly, it seems they shouldn't have charged him in the first place. The "victim" is his ex wife's sister. All of this started when the divorce was filed. Also, the girls PARENTS didn't even come to the hearing--probably because they know this was all a scam. I agree that in many cases molestation is not taken seriously, and that's a shame. But, some people are actually innocent.
Nadja August 21, 2012 at 02:04 PM
It doesn't say the jury was out for a long time...this seems like his ex or her family trolling the site. Nice try guys.
Nadja August 21, 2012 at 02:12 PM
So...he was charged with touching her "side". I don't understand how that's molestation. Obviously the judge didn't either when he dismissed the sexual charges. And the jury agreed too. I don't want to say people who are molested shouldn't be believed (in most cases it is probably true), but in this case it definitely seems like his ex wife and her sister made this up. When I got divorced 2 years ago my lawyer suggested many CRAZY things like this to get custody of our kids and get a better settlement. I'm just not that kind of person.
Kayla August 21, 2012 at 03:06 PM
I agree with your statistics, but that doesn't seem to be what happened in this case. Everyone, including the judge and jury saw that this was influenced by his ex and their divorce. The only "charges" were that he touched her side. Also the asst. district attorney Mary Kellet is on a mission against men and brings charges with little or no evidence all the time. I live in Maine and we're trying to vote her out. Check out this link (which is her official link) http://www.fillerfund.com/marykellett.htm and you can see the community reaction to what she's doing. It's a huge waste of taxpayer money, and destroys people's reputations for the rest of their life.
Kayla August 21, 2012 at 03:09 PM
I agree with Nadja. This is definitely his ex or family trolling the site. Nice catch!
Kayla August 21, 2012 at 03:15 PM
You should Google the asst. district attorney Mary Kellet http://www.fillerfund.com/marykellett.htm who has been taking people in Maine to trial with no evidence and wasting tax payer money. She's partly the reason why divorce and custody are admissible in these cases now, because she has been trying men in similar situations with basically no evidence. I'm not saying that is true for every case but in way too many. This seems like one. I feel bad for this guy, will he ever get his reputation back? We're trying to get rid of her....
Brian August 21, 2012 at 04:18 PM
"...the alleged victim - who was related to him through marriage - testified that Colantonio touched her waist and no other parts of her body." I'm sorry, but that's not molestation. I understand your points about molestation, but did you even read the article?
Rose Costner August 23, 2012 at 12:36 PM
I’ll leave it to others to decide for themselves if Maine got it right, but the latest postings here certainly helped me reach my own conclusion. More than curious, it is absolutely incredulous that after a month in which there had been no new comments posted, suddenly on the morning of August 21st, nine different postings were made within minutes of each other, supposedly by six different people. Without the slightest reservation, every one of the nine comments supports the defense attorney’s story recounted in the press and vehemently protests the child sexual molestation charges filed against Mark Colantonio. Do you think “they” (or is it not "he") doth protest too much? I do. Even setting aside all of the misleading and factually wrong comments in the postings, the transparently biased postings do not reflect well on Mr. Colantonio or the jury’s verdict.
Karen Buck August 28, 2012 at 12:09 AM
Hey Rose- put the acquittal in your pipe and smoke it. Enough is enough. The charges were a vindictive attempt of his soon-to-be ex wife to take his children away from him/get more in child support/ruin his life, etc. She has succeeded in none of this and despite living with the man she left her husband for and finding happiness she continues to be the most unpleasant person on this planet. He would never do anything remotely like this. Interesting that none of the articles mention the victim changing her story on the stand, better known as lying. Of course he is going to have people respond to comments in his defense, duh, wouldn't you. Oh, if you actually aren't "Rose Costner", then let me take this opportunity to tell you officially F$&@ off we won! - Karen aka Mark's Sister
Pdamon August 29, 2012 at 10:26 PM
Nadia, you should be commended for making your own decisions and not allowing anyone to manipulate you into doing something so horrendous. In the best interest of your children, you did the right thing!
Pdamon August 29, 2012 at 10:47 PM
I agree, child molestation is an ugly crime committed mostly by relatives (stepfathers and mother's boyfriends). Huh, that rings a bell??? So I say, shame on all of you that are passing judgment on Colantonio! Were you sitting in the Courtroom or did you read the court transcript? A jury of 12 people found him not guilty based on the facts presented at the trial. I commend those jurors in Maine for deciphering the actual truth based on the testimony. this is what jurors are suppose to do and just to clarify for those who don't know, the longer the jury is out deliberating, it means they were NOT SOLD on the accusers testimony, not the defendants. Based on the testimony presented, the accuser was not able to give facts to where, when and what happened and changed her story during the testimony. I believe, the accuser fabricated the charges because she was jealous of her half sister getting all the attention from her parents. It is a disgrace the legal system allowed the accuser to file a complaint against Colantonio. Let us hope, she is not allowed to accuse anyone else in the future. Nevertheless, we did not put away an innocent person based on false accusations! Our judicial system prevailed!
James July 16, 2013 at 05:59 PM
George Zimmerman was acquitted. People need to understand "acquittal" does not necessarily mean innocent. I believe the legal meaning of "acquittal" is that there was not sufficient evidence presented to convince a jury to convict. Sometimes it is simply a he said-she said case, but defense attorneys will often do anything they can to win a case. I think they have no moral concerns in confusing and misleading a jury to win.

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