AUBURN — It took a jury 13 minutes to find Christal Natasha Gagnier guilty on three counts related to her husband’s repeated sexual assault of a preteen girl over three years.

Gagnier, 26, faces up to 16 years in prison on the two felonies and one misdemeanor.

The jury trial lasted two days. Gagnier was held without bail following the verdict. A sentencing date is expected to be scheduled once both parties file sentencing briefs.

Before trial, Gagnier was offered a plea agreement of three years in prison, all suspended except six months, followed by probation. Gagnier rejected that offer. Following the victim’s testimony on Monday, the offer was discussed and rejected again, Assistant District Attorney Lisa Bogue said.

“Obviously, we’re very happy with the jury verdict,” Bogue said Tuesday afternoon. She praised the investigative work performed by Sabattus police.

She said the victim, now 14 years old, offered the most compelling testimony during the trial. The girl served as the prosecution’s lead witness, testifying for more than an hour.


Gagnier took the witness stand, but apparently wasn’t able to persuade the jury beyond a reasonable doubt that she, also, had been victimized by her husband’s actions to the point that she wasn’t responsible for the crimes with which she was charged.

An Androscoggin County grand jury indicted Gagnier last year on one count of tampering with a witness, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, and aggravated furnishing of a scheduled drug, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison. A misdemeanor charge of endangering the welfare of a child is punishable by up to 364 days in jail.

Gagnier was married to Michael Gagnier, 34, of Sabattus, who is serving 15 years of a 25-year prison sentence for nearly a dozen counts of gross sexual assault.

In opening statements Monday, Bogue told the jury that Natasha Gagnier had provided the victim with a medication to treat a sexually transmitted disease the girl apparently contracted from Michael Gagnier.

Bogue said Natasha Gagnier also coached the victim on what to say to police, including the omission of certain facts, before an interview last year.

Gagnier’s attorney, Allan Lobozzo, told jurors Monday that his client had only the victim’s best interest in mind when she dispensed the medication to the girl in an effort to combat the sexually transmitted disease that might otherwise have robbed the girl of her reproductive health.


Lobozzo said Michael Gagnier invented an imaginary boyfriend for the victim to explain the need for Natasha Gagnier to help the victim undergo repeated pregnancy tests, evidence that Natasha Gagnier didn’t know about her husband’s sexual assaults against the victim.

As Michael Gagnier’s mental health declined, Natasha said she suffered increasingly heightened emotional, physical and sexual abuse at his hands and her actions had been influenced by that abuse, Lobozzo said. He said Michael Gagnier began sexually abusing Natasha when she was 12, and married her after she turned 18.

Lobozzo said Michael Gagnier had been ordained as a minister before coming to Maine with Natasha. He suffered delusions about his authority under God , Lobozzo said.

In 2012, the victim told a school friend that Michael Gagnier had raped her. That friend passed along the victim’s account to a guidance counselor. The victim later denied the abuse after she was threatened and verbally abused by Gagnier, according to prosecutors.

The victim disclosed again last year to the same friend, who, in turn, told a youth worker at a Lewiston church retreat.

A Sabattus police officer said Gagnier admitted in an interview to having sex with the girl over a three-year period, starting when the girl was 10, confirming the victim’s account. Gagnier said he was abusing narcotics at that time.


He was arrested and charged nearly a year ago; Natasha Gagnier was arrested in June.

Michael Gagnier eventually pleaded guilty to nearly a dozen counts of gross sexual assault and one count of tampering with a victim. He had been indicted by an Androscoggin County grand jury on more than three dozen counts of gross sexual assault.

After serving 15 years in prison, Gagnier will be on probation for 18 years.

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