RUMFORD — A district court judge has granted a protection from abuse order against Seth Carey, an Auburn lawyer who is running as a Republican candidate for district attorney in Androscoggin, Franklin and Oxford counties.
The judge’s decision prompted the chairman of the Maine Republican Party to encourage Carey, 42, to drop out of the race.
The protection from abuse order was requested by one of Carey’s former clients, a woman who has been living at his house in Rumford.
Carey, who most recently practiced law in Rumford, recently moved his practice to Auburn as he also seeks to become district attorney.
After learning of the allegations against Carey, Maine GOP Party Chairman Demi Kouzounas called on him to end his bid for district attorney.
“We in the Maine GOP don’t believe in convicting people in the court of public opinion for political purposes, but when there are actual, credible allegations of sexual violence, they must be taken with the utmost seriousness,” Kouzounas wrote in a prepared statement.
“Fighting domestic and sexual violence is more important than political ambition, and we’ve got to keep our priorities straight. This charge must be addressed, first and foremost, and our good people in central and western Maine should not have a cloud of doubt hovering over their heads. To ensure that, Seth Carey should withdraw from his race. It is the right and only thing to do.”
The motion for a protection from abuse order was filed against Carey at Rumford District Court last week and granted Friday.
In an email, Carey said the accusation is “100 percent a false fabrication.”
He also wrote, “I am very confident that this mistake of law by the judge will be corrected on appeal.”
According to the victim’s request for the protection order, she believed Carey posed an “immediate and present danger” to her and that he had sexually assaulted her in the home they shared.
The victim, who had been a client of Carey’s, moved into his home in 2017. The two reportedly have separate bedrooms.
According to the victim’s affidavit in support of the order, “I’ve had to put a padlock on my bedroom door to keep him from coming into my room at night.”
She said she was sexually assaulted while sitting in the living room, and that Carey once “grabbed the back of my hair and shoved my face into his private area (and) tried to drag me in his room telling me ‘I gave you a place to live, you owe me.'”
“He was my lawyer and now is using that to do whatever he wants to me,” Carey’s accuser wrote in her sworn affidavit.
According to the victim, she moved into Carey’s home in 2017. At that time, she claims, he “told me if I don’t have sex with him, he was going to throw all of my stuff out.”
According to the victim’s affidavit, she has retained messages from him proving her allegations.
“I’m at a loss of what to do about this,” she said.
According to the victim, Carey lives in Lewiston during the week and Rumford on weekends.
She asked the court to order Carey to stop abusing her, to have no contact with her and to not come near her. She has also asked that she be allowed to remove her belongings from Carey’s house in Rumford.
The court ordered those terms and has declared that Carey must stay away from the Rumford property until May 1. He will be permitted to return to the property once before that time, with a police escort, to retrieve his personal property.
Carey has also been ordered to return private images of the victim to her, and is prohibited from further “or future” dissemination of those images.
Carey has been suspended from practicing law several times over the past 10 years, most recently in 2016, when he was suspended for two years for failing to properly discharge his professional duties. That suspension was later put on hold, allowing him to practice law, but with some restrictions.
In that case, which came before a panel of the grievance commission at the Overseers of the Bar in the fall of 2015, several Maine judges testified that Carey appeared, at times, incompetent to represent his clients in court.
He was also suspended in 2009 for six months after several lawyers and judges questioned Carey’s competence to handle criminal matters in the courtroom. He also received a two-month concurrent suspension later that year for conduct unworthy of an attorney after he attacked a puppy owned by a female acquaintance.
In addition, Carey was the subject of a harassment notice filed by the Rumford Police Department after he became aggressive and was blocked from entering the police station.
Carey filed papers to be on the June 12 Republican primary ballot for district attorney under the name “S. Thomas Carey,” where he will face off against Alexander Willette, 29, of Lewiston.
That district attorney’s seat is currently held by Andrew Robinson, who is running unopposed in the Democratic primary.
Carey, who graduated from the Vermont Law School in 2001, is licensed to practice in Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut and U.S. District Court for the District of Maine.
Lawyer Seth Carey addresses the judge in August 2016 at the Cumberland County Courthouse in Portland. (Sun Journal file photo)