AUGUSTA — Justice Nancy Mills on Monday ordered a Madrid Township man to serve three years of a five-year sentence for sexually abusing a teenage boy.

John A. Fahnley, 59, was sentenced in Kennebec County Superior Court in Augusta. The conviction carried a penalty of up to five years in prison. He will serve two years probation.

A Franklin County jury found Fahnley guilty Feb. 21 of sexually abusing a Massachusetts boy under age 16 in 2008 at Fahnley’s home. He was found not guilty of sexual assault of the boy in 2008 and sexually abusing him in 2009.

The victim testified during that Fahnley was a longtime friend of the family and was like a father to him. His mother testified that she let her son go to Maine after Fahnley told her he was sick and could not prepare for winter.

The boy also testified that he drank alcohol, smoked cigarettes and consumed drugs, all provided by Fahnley, while he was in Maine.

He got so sick one time from drinking straight vodka that he passed out and awoke to find Fahnley removing his clothes and pinning him down before performing a sex act on him. He also testified the behavior continued over time.


Fahnley pleaded not guilty Monday to a misdemeanor charge of improper contact for a statement he made to the victim and his family before he was led out of a Farmington courtroom in February after being convicted. He looked at them and said, “I hope you guys are happy.”

Joshua Robbins, assistant district attorney in Franklin County, asked the court to sentence Fahnley to five years, given his past criminal history. He told the court Fahnley was sentenced to three years in prison in 2003, all suspended, followed by 3½ years probation for raping a boy under age 16 in 2001. He had met the boy through an Outward Bound program in Boston.

Fahnley completed the majority of his probation in Maine, Robbins said. He also completed sex offender counseling in 2007, one year before the 2008 sexual abuse occurred in Maine, he said.

It would indicate that Fahnley is a high risk offender, Robbins said.

Fahnley read a statement that said the statement he made to the victim and his family before leaving the courtroom in February was an awful thing to say considering what he put the family through. He said he was shocked that he was convicted and handcuffed and realizes that was no excuse for the hurtful words.

He said when the victim testified, it was clear the victim was in much pain.


“I, alone, am the cause of it,” he said. He apologized to the victim and his family and said he regretted deeply what his abuse had done to them.

“I can only hope someday they can find it in their hearts to forgive me,” Fahnley said.

He acknowledged it was his second conviction. He said he is the caretaker of his mother, 85, who is very ill. He asked for the shortest sentence possible so he could be there for her.

Defense attorney Kevin Joyce said they were seeking a probated sentence and if there were more probation time available by law, Fahnley would be open to it.

Several letters were submitted by people supporting Fahnley, saying he was a good person, an asset to the community, generous to those in need and he took tremendous care of his ailing mother, he said.

“I think he has expressed genuine remorse” to the victim and his family and what they have gone through, Joyce said.


He asked the court to sentence Fahnley to five years with all but one year suspended and two years of probation.

Justice Mills reviewed the victim’s testimony and said Fahnley’s conduct was premeditated, given the gifts he gave to the victim to encourage him to come to Maine. She voiced many concerns during sentencing, including for the victim and his family, protection of the public and Fahnley’s mother.

Prior to sentencing him, Mills said she was sorry to say her concerns over Fahnley’s mother’s health and care were outweighed by the children who may come in contact with him.

Fahnley will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

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