Sabattus man accused of sexually assaulting girl

SABATTUS — A High Street man was in the county jail Thursday accused of sexually abusing a girl over a period of four years beginning when she was 9 years old.

A church youth worker helped lead police to 33-year-old Michael Gagnier, of 20 High St., who was arrested Tuesday in Lewiston on a charge of gross sexual assault. He was being held at the Androscoggin County Jail in Auburn on $50,000 cash bail.

According to a police affidavit, the girl told investigators Gagnier had abused her at least four times a month over the past four years. In the court document, Gagnier is quoted as calling the girl a "home wrecker" and blaming his actions on medication he takes for thyroid issues.

Police said Gagnier admitted that he abused the girl, saying to a detective: "I am a good man, never meant for this to happen and when I am able, I want to try and make things up. I pray that you will have mercy on me, please."

According to the affidavit, the girl recently told a youth worker at a Lewiston church that Gagnier had been sexually abusing her. A child protective caseworker spoke with the girl, now 13, as well as her mother, who was said to be "in shock" after hearing about the sexual abuse. When that woman confronted Gagnier about the allegations, he admitted it, according to the court document.

On Tuesday, Sabattus police Detective Sgt. Gary Baillargeon, accompanied by the caseworker, went to the Department of Health and Human Services in Lewiston where Gagnier had agreed to meet them, according to the affidavit.

The affidavit said Gagnier broke down crying and confessed to a long period of sexual abuse, saying: "Pretty much whatever she says is true."

Baillargeon wrote in the affidavit: "Michael first started to blame his addiction to prescription medication. He stated, 'It is real foggy; I was taking 30-40 pills (of percocet) a day, and morphine.'"

According to the court document, Gagnier told police he had intercourse or other sexual contact with the girl about twice a week. He described several sexual encounters and told Baillargeon he often would take a break from it for several months at a time. When the detective asked how many times Gagnier had sexual relations with the girl, "Michael broke down and started sobbing and stated, 'I can't put a number to it,'" according to the affidavit.

Gagnier, a father of three, moved to Sabattus four months ago, according to the affidavit. Prior to that, he lived on Howard Street in Lewiston. 

While police investigated the accusations, Gagnier's three daughters were removed from his home.

Often, Gagnier told police on Wednesday, he would pray with the girl, sometimes with their hands on a Bible, because, "I really wanted to stop," according to the affidavit.

Gagnier has a minor criminal history that includes a conviction for criminal trespassing in 1998, for which he paid a fine.

On Wednesday, Gagnier made an initial appearance in Androscoggin County Superior Court in Auburn before he was returned to jail.

Androscoggin County Jail

Michael Gagnier, 33, of Sabattus

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Catherine Pressey's picture

Well now Sick:

He is real darn sick, and when and if ifffff he goes to jail. I hope bubba make him know what he did to the wee kid. let him feel the pain, darn a 9year old. It is a life sentence for her. She is going to need lots of councling, to help her over come the rape. it is rape when your that young not just a game here. hope he gets a big shaft.

So many questions

First of all, where was the mother of his three girls, and where were the parents of this 9 year old when she was alone with this man? So many unreported facts on this story..was she one of the little girls I would often see walking the streets of Sabattus with a pack of her friends screaming and hollering all hours of the night ?? with guys that didn't seem to be much older than her?? How could she have had the opportunity to be alone with him??? Was she a friend of one of the daughters and was she sleeping over to this guys house?? I am so glad they took the kids away from him but I worry where they stuck them...if it was with the mother, then I hope they are still keeping an eye on them...if a mother can let a man like this have 3 daughters alone, then someone wasn't paying attention...I'm sure there were sighs all over the place that something was not right here...hope they throw the book at him and the kids find a good home..

Bob White's picture

Well I hope he doesnt get the

Well I hope he doesnt get the same judge that was in charge of the trial of the man fom Turner on poaching deer. He sang a song that he was on drugs boo whoo thats what made him do it. It wasnt his fault and now hes off the drugs and he sees where he did wrong.

Catherine Pressey's picture

Turner Man and poaching:

I hope this is not the reason that the judge let him off, I was under the impression that he was ill. like really ill and on his death bed. Now I am real pO's if it was just he was on drugs. Not a excuse.

ERNEST LABBE's picture

The judge

The judge you refer to is "active retired" Robert Clifford.

Bob White's picture

Maybe I'm reading it wrong it

Maybe I'm reading it wrong it say Mary Gay Kennedy

 's picture

So sad that this girl had to endure her abuse for so long.

This is heartbreaking. How on earth was it possible for a grown man to have such access ALONE with this child? I just don't get that at all. As a parent of four I am always thinking about who my children spend time with and believe me, no one gets that kind of unsupervised access with them! We have a hard enough time when our kids do sleepovers. It takes time to trust the adults who are responsible for their well-being when we can't be with them.

I just hope that this poor girl gets over this with as few scars as possible and that this man goes away for along time. He has already confessed to taking away her trust and innocence, please don't allow him any plea deals. He's scum for taking advantage of a child. Please don't feel sorry for him. He's only crying because he was caught. If he had truly wanted help to stop, he could have turned himself in, but he didn't. Remember that.

ERNEST LABBE's picture

Exactly correct

Exactly correct. While this so called man was abusing this child where were her parents. Unfortunatly this man must have had plenty of free access to this man. I'm not condoning his actions but this has been going on for four years at least once a week, where was mon and dad during this time. In cases such as this some punishment has to go to the parents as well.

MEGAN PARKS's picture


It does say he has three daughters... it may be possible he IS the parent.

Steve  Dosh's picture

Sabattus man accused of sexually assaulting girl

Mainers Thursday 7 pm hst ? 
. . Innocent until proven guilty in a court of law by a jury of his peers . Does he own guns or possess a concealed gun permit ? If convicted , this is a felony and they'll need to take his guns away from him . Sexual abuse and battering is all too common in the ' hollers ' of Appalachia . Incest is not best
h t h , /s, Dr. Dosh and ohana , Hawai'i •

Noel Foss's picture

Typically they don't let you bring your guns to jail

Either that or whittling shivs is just a quirky prison hobby.


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