Assault victim says he’s angry and still scared

Robbed and beaten in Lewiston
Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

Chris Finley relaxes recently in his apartment at Blake Street Towers in Lewiston where he was robbed and beaten. His case was dropped and his assailants were set free because the Lewiston Police Department lost evidence in that case.

LEWISTON — His blood still covered the bathroom floor tiles. It was still smeared on the bathroom sink and walls.

Chris Finley stood staring at the carnage. He closed the door and wouldn't return until the next day when a friend helped him clean up the mess.

A week earlier, police detectives had taken him back to his apartment the day after the assault. His assailants had taken his keys, along with his wallet, debit and credit cards, cell phone and laptop computer. The detectives had taken photos of the crime scene, documenting the evidence for possible use at trial.

Finley had waited outside his apartment in the hallway, as instructed, until the detectives were done with their work. They let him in afterward so he could pack up a few belongings and leave town.

One of Finley's alleged assailants, Frank Matott, had broken Finley's jaw and nose, given him a mild concussion and ripped the corner of his eye, a gash that took 6 stitches to close.

Matott's girlfriend, Lynne Montoya, was frying an egg in Finley's kitchen during the beating. She left her place at the stove briefly to join in the assault, Finley said.

He had buzzed Montoya through the locked door in the lobby because she'd said she wanted to talk to him. They knew each other from when Finley had stayed at her place for a short time. He didn't know Matott was with her downstairs.

When the couple finished hitting Finley, they ordered him to take a shower, get cleaned up and go with them to a Main Street ATM to get money for them from his account, he said.

Finley did as instructed. But there was no money in his account. When the machine failed to spit out any cash, Matott took Finley into a nearby 7-11 store where the man tried without success to buy beer and cigarettes with Finley's card.

He was ordered to accompany the couple to an apartment building on Pine Street. There, Finley had the first lucky break of the night. Police had been dispatched to the same building on an unrelated call.

Finley was still bleeding from his head wounds. One of the officers asked him to be treated by EMTs. He was put in an ambulance and taken to the hospital.

He had been afraid at first to report his assault and robbery because Matott and Montoya had threatened to kill him if he told anybody what they'd done.

Finley was sitting in the waiting room at the district attorney's office in the Androscoggin County Courthouse waiting to testify against Matott. Assistant District Attorney Nicholas Worden called Finley into his office and told him the judge had dropped the felony charge against Matott.

Montoya had accepted a plea agreement with a sentence capped at 15 months on all charges in exchange for testifying against her boyfriend at trial. She and Matott each had faced a felony robbery charge, which, alone, was punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

That was before the judge dropped the robbery charge against Matott. Prosecutors believed Montoya should be given a chance to withdraw her plea in light of the evidence glitch. She did that and later pleaded to a misdemeanor assault charge.

Now the couple is back on the streets, having been sentenced to time served on misdemeanor assault charges. Finley is afraid they'll seek revenge for having told police.

"I was pissed," when Worden told him how the robbery cases had unraveled, Finley said.

"This was not just a simple assault and robbery," he said. "There was a lot of physical damage done."

Matott escaped a possible decade behind bars and faces only a maximum of 364 days in jail.

"That just doesn't sit well with me," Finley said.

He's afraid to go outside, even though he has a restraining order against Matott and Montoya.

"It's pretty much open season," he said.

"If I knew exactly where to place the blame, I would sue that person. But since I don't, I have no choice but to sue the whole department."

cwilliams@sunjournal.com

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Comments

Steve  Dosh's picture

Assault victim says he’s angry and still scared

. . †hanks Chris and L S J ® staff reporters , Mark , also
. . b t w - to whom , Kim . .
http://www.hawaiiantel.net/news/read.php?ps=1011&rip_id=%3CD9QIS76O0%40n...
Maine • The Way Life Should Be ?
Glad we live where we do
Does this sort of thing happen often in the Great State of Maine ?
Both news items cited ? 
Alo'ha from Pahoa HI 96778 u s a
Monday 3 pm hst •

Kim Berry's picture

HI STEVE, pretty wierd stuff uh?

This is the first I have heard of something THIS bizzarre happening in our Great State of Maine. It seems though, more so lately, the Great State has been a state of confusion & insanity! LoL

THANK YOU for the AP new link! Awsome coverage. There was one detail that had me wondering. Storage payments. This news links read that HE made payments 3 months in advance, all along! WEIERD. AND the storage co. had records of 10/06/1992? (19 years ago), of him being in possesion of the unit! WOW! :D

Still, though, if my elderly parent was paying on something, like that for THAT many years, I would be asking questions with her, and finding out more. I am guessing that, his family didnt pay attention ot it. Or, they may have thought he kept it for the small store he owned? I dont know. I am sure more will surface, now that it has become quite public. Well, after seeing your news link, now NATIONAL NEWS. ha ha wow ThanX for sending us that.

The other REALLY bizzarre murder case, was the guy who went to a ski resort, during off season. He killed the owner and the handful of people who there at the time. He even killed the dog! It was pretty brutal! I cannot find the LSJ news link for that. But, found a bunch of others.

A woman from NH dropped off her 5 year old's D.B. on a rural road this Spring. We all went crazy trying to determine WHO this beautiful child was... It was quite the frenzy, untill a witness came forward, after spotting the murder's vehicle at a rest stop, thought it was supsicious, called it in. hmm horribly sad

And a couple of months ago, YES another D.B. was found in a basement, behind some boxes. The person had been there, and missing for two weeks! The guy had admitted to a AA sponsor, and the both of them kept it secret for two weeks. Sickening!
Woman's body found in a main st. Lewiston apartment basement http://www.sunjournal.com/comment/81102##comment-81102
A person kidnapped, murdered : woman who's car was found with her baby inside http://www.sunjournal.com/approved/story/1028592

Kim Berry's picture

OK, NOW I am confused!

Cathy,
whom are you speaking too?
Who said it was NOT his property?

I said basically, did they recover the stolen property? Did they FIND IT at the assailents house? That would be proof right there.

They can get finger prints off it, or use the location they found it in. I didnt see if they , or if HE GOT HIS STUFF BACK.

assault

By Nick Gagnon, verified user — Sun, 10/23/2011 - 22:05

The damage was done by the defendants, not the police. The police didnt cause any further damage so I dont get the basis of the law suit. The courts could have pressed on with the case without some pictures and let the jury decide if there was enough evidence. The property that was lost was not property of the victim. Maybe he should sue all the citizens of Lewiston for not being at his apartment to stop the attack? Da, where were you? Why did't you stop the attack? Maybe he should sue you. In reality, all sarcasim aside, they were convicted of simple assault and since civil court is only preponderance of the evidence rather than beyond reasonable doubt, the ones to face the suit should be the ones convicted of the assault. But I realize there is no money there so of course, go for the deep pockets and make the tax payers suffer.

This was who I was speaking to but I reply to your comment instead. didn't mean to confuse you.

victim

The property that was lost was not property of
the victim? It was the victims property. his laptop, his keys, his wallet? Where did you not see that this was his stuff that was stolen? hello. then the defendants tried to get money out of his account. The police may not have done the damage but they lost the evidence.

Nick Gagnon's picture

Cathy. The property I was

Cathy. The property I was speaking about that was lost was a reference to the lost evidence. The evidence was photos that the police took which would be property of the police and not the victim. Thats why I commented about the "law suit" someone mentioned about suing the police. I was saying that the LPD didn't cause any further damage or property loss of the victim.

Christy Stokely's picture

Evidence glitch

An evidence glitch. I'm so sick of hearing that evidence has not been obtained, lost, mishandled or not properly processed. I have a Degree in Criminal Justice and I know the importance evidence is to process a criminal case. I also live at Blake St. Towers and I was not aware that this even happened until I read this story. Before this event I felt secure living here. Now I wonder how secure is it really. I realize he let her in himself because he knew her and didn't know she had someone else with her and was about to be assualted and robbed, so some responsibility is his, but the evidence should have been what would have put these two behind bars. We have cameras throughout the downstairs that would show they entered together. He was seen with them by the police when they offered to get him medical help. Just because I let someone into my apartment doesn't mean they should get away with robbing and assualting me. The police know what evidence needs to be collected to be able to prosecute offenders. And now he has to live in fear that if he runs into them outside the building they will probably do things worse then what they already did. LPD do your job. PROTECT AND SERVE. LPD comes here to conduct safety meetings with residents of this building but what good is that if they are going to screw up their evidence collecting, calling it an "Evidence Glitch" which is putting it mildly. This story is shocking to me and I hope my neighbors would call 911 if they heard something violent going on in my apartment because if I heard anything going on in an apartment that sounded like yelling or violence or anything out of the norm I would knock on their door and call the police. No one should have to live in fear of reporting an incident because of retaliation. By the way it's not donuts anymore it's bagels they stop at Dunkin Donuts for.

Nick Gagnon's picture

Also Cathy, I guess you

Also Cathy, I guess you missed the story in the paper the othe day about the police arresting some drug dealers from out of state and getting a significant amount of crack off the street. That kind of goes agaist your theory that they're too busy with speeders to bust the drug dealers huh? People are so quick to criticize those that do a dangerous job in the name of public safety. There are other jobs they could choose.

also

No I didn't miss that but do you honestly feel safe? no matter how many dealers they take off the street another one pops up. But to lose important evidence on an assault case, they are supposed to be trained not to do that. I understand they are human too. But the cops that gathered the evidence should of said, that he had the evidence to arrest them but it was misplaced. And for your information Im not criticizing the police. It doesn't matter if you wear a badge and uniform, if you have someone in cuffs that doesn't give you the right to beat him while helpless no matter what he did. I also didn't say I thought the man was innocent. Im sure he did something to get himself arrested. Plus if I was criticing those who do a dnagerous job for public safety then I would have to be dissing the whole US military in Iraq and Afghanistan for keeping us safe. Believe me I have had run ins with the police myself and they didn't care about me. In fact I was arrested years ago for a bounced check warrant that was inadvertantly forgotten about that I had already cleared. So when the cop came and arrested me instead of taking me straight downtown they sat on my road making personal plans for the weekend while I was sitting in the crusier with cuffs so tight my hands were purple. That case however was thrown out and I was also granted a harrassment suit against the arresting officer, because he was in the wrong not once, twice but three times. I also could have had an injury lawsuit because the day after and for two weeks following I couldn't feel my right hand from the thumb down to my wrist because the cuffs were too tight. Unfortunately I didn't have insurance and couldn't afford to go to the drs. Granted there are good cops and there are those who try to use their badge for their own purpose.

Nick Gagnon's picture

Cathy, the donut jokes are

Cathy, the donut jokes are pretty old and a little imature and juvenile. I am sure you have what it takes to do their job right? The officers obviously did not just ignore the complaint. They di their job, investigated and made the arrest. There was a mistake with the evidence so it was not about them being too busy with speeders. If you're going to voice your opinion, atleast TRY to make it an educated one that makes sense in accordance with the story. If you read the entire article, you will see that the LPD has a huge case load, which means maybe you should criticize the criminals tat cause the cae load...like the guy you allegedly saw being brutalized in the street. Im sure in your view, he was innocent. Violations of protection orders are mandatory arrest. Most of the time they have uncooperative victims that withdraw their statements with plans to reconcile with the defendant so they can be abused more...then get aother protection order when they fight again.

assault

The cops spend too much time stopping speeders. They are also eating too many donuts. People are selling drugs under there noses and getting away with it. people that push victims around that don't fight back come back for more because the victim let them do what they want for fear of their lives. Mr Finley's only mistake was letting the girl in. Restrainig orders don't work. Police won't do anything until that person that has the order against them hurts or even kills the person who had the restraining order against them. The police saw the man bleeding walking with the two that beat him. The system doesn't work. I even saw the police walking a man in cuffs and just his underwear down horton st. The guy in cuffs pushed against one of the officers, and he ( the officer) threw the man on the sidewalk, then while the man in cuffs was face down on the sidewalk, the officer punched the man in the face. Now if that isn't police brutality I don't know what is. Regardless of what the man did, there's no need for the cop to do that while the man is handcuffed and face down on the ground.

Nick Adams's picture

not going to point fingers

I'm not going to point my finger at the officer, but I will say that I understand what you mean about how they are not being as observant as they should be. They act very complacent. I saw the other day with my wife a kid making one of the most obvious drug deals on the side of a street. A police officer came around the corner almost hit the kid standing at the car, he even looked back at the kid after he went and couldn't even stop them on suspicion, at least. I was a little upset about that. The more upsetting thing was I was driving into my yard when I saw it happen. My wife went to "get the mail" and could see the kid rolling a joint for the driver of the vehicle. By the time we had the decency to call dispatch and tell them of the situation, they were gone. I almost called and complained.

finger

I had to call on two occasions. once during hurricane irene because there was someone going up and down the block squealing tires and such. This was at 12 midnight!! Then I had two or three kids from across the street from my house letting off bottle rockets into my driveway where my daughter was rifing her bike!! By the time they came by the secind time they had left. They came by the first time and went right by. I came by my house today on the way back from my am run and there were three cops on pierce street again. So it's a never ending thing.

Kim Berry's picture

THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY & judge had final call

NOT THE POLICE : dropping the felony robbery charges?
What about KIDNAPPING, TERROIZING, ROBBERY, ASSAULT for a tally! OMG

PLEA AGREEMENTS for the person who was the ring leader? She brought the robbers and kidnappers to her his house! HELLOOOOOO !
She led them to the victom. She participated in much of it. CONSPIRACY TO commit KIDNAPPING AND ROBBERY!

All the police are supposed to do, is arrest the assailants, and recovery evidence. THAT'S IT.

When the courts do something like this, I am so discouraged, at what the system does for a victom in such a brutal and terrorising crime like this! This is bull crap.

Kim Berry's picture

OK READ THE OTHER ARTICLE

Now, I see about the loss of the photos.. S O W H A T ! ?
Isnt a victim a credible witness anymore?
MEDICAL PROOF!: yes, got that, was seen by a doctor
STOLE PROPERTY RECOVERED ? not sure, proof would be there, finger prints done
VIDEO PROOF : OF BANK ATM proof there
WITNESS PROOF : ringleader, who led the assailents to the victims house proof there

I dont know what to say anymore.
I realise people are pissed at the LPD, but what about the justice system?
I am discusted and heart broken, that the victim had to go through all this terroizing, and see this as the end results. Very saddned for him, and the people who care about him.

 's picture

Mr. Finley, time for you to

Mr. Finley, time for you to get a lawyer and sue the pants off the LPD. They failed in their jobs and should be made to pay. I am so sorry for your being a victim, twice.

Nick Gagnon's picture

The damage was done by the

The damage was done by the defendants, not the police. The police didnt cause any further damage so I dont get the basis of the law suit. The courts could have pressed on with the case without some pictures and let the jury decide if there was enough evidence. The property that was lost was not property of the victim. Maybe he should sue all the citizens of Lewiston for not being at his apartment to stop the attack? Da, where were you? Why did't you stop the attack? Maybe he should sue you. In reality, all sarcasim aside, they were convicted of simple assault and since civil court is only preponderance of the evidence rather than beyond reasonable doubt, the ones to face the suit should be the ones convicted of the assault. But I realize there is no money there so of course, go for the deep pockets and make the tax payers suffer.

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