AUGUSTA — A jury deliberated for four hours Wednesday but could not agree on a verdict in a trial of a Rumford man accused of sexually assaulting a child twice in Augusta.

Alexander L. LaPointe, 36, was arrested in 2019 and charged with two counts of gross sexual assault on a child younger than 12 years old. Jurors deliberated all afternoon Wednesday but were unable to agree whether LaPointe is guilty. They were scheduled to reconvene Thursday morning to try to reach a verdict.

The girl, now 17, said LaPointe lured her inside his trailer home in Augusta to play chess, where he took off his robe and wasn’t wearing any clothes. She said she left that room and went to the bathroom but then he followed her into the bathroom and took off her clothes and sexually assaulted her. The next day he sexually assaulted her again, while threatening to kill her if she told anyone about it, according to state prosecutor Frayla Tarpinian, deputy district attorney.

LaPointe’s attorney, Matthew Morgan of McKee Law, argued the alleged incidents didn’t happen, and the girl’s memories of the incidents are based on her nightmares, not actual recollection.

LaPointe is still facing another charge of gross sexual assault, involving the same victim, in Oxford County, where the case is awaiting trial.

Superior Court Justice Michaela Murphy reminded prosecutors Tuesday morning, before the jury was brought into the courtroom at the Capital Judicial Center, that testimony in the Kennebec County case needed to remain focused on the incidents in Augusta, and not include mention of any incident in Oxford County.

The indictment of LaPointe alleged the crimes in Augusta occurred between September 2010 and September 2014.

She remained silent for years, Tarpinian said of the girl, until, in 2018, she reached out to report the alleged rapes to her mother after she had nightmares about them, that kept her from being able to sleep.

The girl testified in the trial Monday, sometimes in tears on the witness stand. The Kennebec Journal is not identifying the girl because its policy is to not identify the victims of alleged sexual assaults.

“So now you all know (the girl’s) secret, and her nightmare,” Tarpinian said in her closing arguments Wednesday. She “is never waking up from this nightmare. Because you don’t wake up from things that actually happened to you. They carry those memories for the rest of their lives.”

LaPointe’s attorney also argued that the girl’s nightmares were just that, dreams, not real memories. Her nightmares were caused by the increasingly difficult relationship with her mother in 2018 when, Morgan said, her mother struck her in the face and admitted to using methamphetamine.

“When one person sees the same thing multiple different ways, that could be because these are nightmares, these were not things that happened,” Morgan told jurors in his closing arguments. “What do we do when we have a nightmare? We turn on the lights and investigate. What happens when we turn on the lights in this case? What we find are reasonable doubts. The state doesn’t want you to turn the lights on and look at the objective evidence.”

He said the girl’s testimony included many inconsistencies, including about when and where the incidents occurred, and whether LaPointe was already out of his clothes or was wearing them and then took them off. He said of her testimony that the incidents occured when she was 6 or 7 years old was also inconsistent and would also mean that it wasn’t possible the incidents occurred in Augusta as alleged, because LaPointe wasn’t living at the Augusta trailer at the time, and couldn’t have been there until 2013 or 2014, because before then, it was owned by someone else.

Tarpinian countered that the dates a crime is alleged to have occurred don’t have to be exact to be proven, that when LaPointe could have lived at the trailer in 2013 and 2014 the girl was still under the age of 12, and she had specifically identified that residence, and which bathroom in it, as where she was sexually assaulted.

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