WISCASSET, Maine — A Maine state trooper on trial for illegal sexual contact with a girl under the age of 14 was assaulted Thursday in a Lincoln County Superior Court courtroom just as a jury was preparing to release its verdict, according to Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department Lt. Michael Murphy.
The trooper, Gregory Vrooman of Nobleboro, was indicted by a Lincoln County grand jury in February 2011 on four counts of unlawful sexual touching, four counts of unlawful sexual contact, four counts of assault and a charge of tampering with a witness. Vrooman, a 24-year veteran of the Maine State Police, was arrested in November 2010 at his home and later released on bail. Vrooman has been on unpaid administrative leave since his arrest. The alleged assaults happened between December 2009 and November 2010, according to a previous article in the Bangor Daily News.
According to Murphy, Vrooman was assaulted by a member of the audience at about 10:30 a.m. Thursday as the jury prepared to render a verdict in the case. Murphy said the spectator threw a few punches at Vrooman before being subdued by others in the courtroom within moments. The assault suspect was arrested and Vrooman was transported away from the courthouse by ambulance.
The name of the alleged assailant was not released, but Murphy said he would release more details about the incident Thursday afternoon.
If convicted, Vrooman faces up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine for each of the witness-tampering and unlawful sexual contact charges, which are Class C crimes. Each count of assault and unlawful sexual touching, which are Class D crimes under Maine law, is punishable by up to a year in jail and a $2,000 fine.