A man was stabbed Wednesday morning inside this green apartment house on Winter Street in Auburn. Bob Glencross, photo

LEWISTON — A judge ruled Thursday that an 11-year-old Auburn girl accused of stabbing her father and charged with attempted murder could stay with a relative if she were to abide by a safety plan that includes house confinement.

Judge Susan Oram said at a videoconference hearing in 8th District Court that the allegations against the girl are “extremely serious,” but the juvenile was “quite young.”

After listening to testimony from treatment providers referenced in the girl’s “safety plan” that was drafted by defense attorney Gina Yamartino, Oram concluded the girl could be released, “but if and only if every single aspect of the safety plan were in place,” she said.

Conditions of the plan include the girl must live with her aunt in Cumberland County under house arrest. She would only be allowed to leave that home if supervised by one of three people named in the plan, the judge said.

The girl must follow a prepared educational curriculum and undergo treatment and counseling as spelled out in the plan.

A juvenile corrections officer must visit the home and confirm safety measures and supports are in place before the girl may be released from Long Creek Youth Development Center in South Portland where she has been held since the charges were brought against her in a petition last month.


Yamartino said the state’s juvenile code requires that children charged with crimes be held in the “least restrictive setting” and that the South Portland facility was the “most restrictive setting” possible.

Assistant District Attorney Molly Butler Bailey told the judge that she believed Long Creek was “not a great place for an 11-year-old” girl.

She said her office had sought to secure an evaluation or alternative placement besides Long Creek.

Butler Bailey said she lacked the information needed to agree or disagree with the proposed plan and left that to the judge’s discretion.

The girl faces charges of attempted murder and aggravated assault.

Police said she stabbed her father in the chest and abdomen with a kitchen knife after blindfolding him at their Winter Street home in Auburn on Jan. 13. He knocked the knife away after the assault and she had tried to get a second knife before she was stopped, police said in an affidavit.


She was found with a cut on her hand consistent with a knife slipping down her hand after striking an object, police said.

The plan approved by Oram includes restrictions on social media and technology, Yamartino said.

In the affidavit, police said the girl’s father told officers his daughter had been conversing with a man in his 20s online and he had tried to lure the girl to a motel.

The father said his daughter had asked to use his cellphone shortly before blindfolding him with the promise of a surprise from her and her mother. She made sure the blindfold was secure and began speaking in French as though she was narrating the event and recording it, giving her name and the date and saying she was giving her dad a surprise, according to the affidavit.

At the girl’s first court appearance, a judge ordered she be evaluated for competency by a state forensic examiner.

Yamartino asked that the girl’s initial appearance hearing, where she would respond to the charges, be continued to a later court hearing based on information she received from state forensics evaluator. The judge agreed to reschedule that hearing.


Yamartino sought to have the judge close Thursday’s hearing and future hearings in the case to media.

“My client asks that these proceedings be closed to the press,” she said.

She asserted the Legislature had intended media be allowed to view juvenile proceedings involving adult felony charges only if the media were physically present in the courtroom.

She also said she liked to believe lawmakers hadn’t envisioned an 11-year-old child being subjected to a public hearing and put into question the integrity of media who would cover such a hearing.

“It’s unconscionable,” she said.

Judge Oram denied the motion, saying she didn’t believe she had the authority to close every aspect of the public court proceeding.

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