AUBURN — A Naples man accused of choking his ex-girlfriend, setting her clothes on fire then fleeing from police into nearby woods is spending nine months and a day in jail for related criminal charges.

Christian Conley Lewiston Police Department photo

In a plea agreement reached with prosecutors, Christian D. Conley, 29, pleaded guilty Tuesday to eight charges stemming from an incident in August 2021 when Conley’s then-girlfriend sought refuge from him at a Lewiston flooring business after Conley had knocked a plate of food from her hands then assaulted her at their apartment, according to Assistant District Attorney Katherine Hudson-MacRae.

Conley had followed her to the business and was pounding on the door when police were called to the scene.

A month later, Conley went to his now-ex-girlfriend’s Lewiston home, climbed onto the roof of the building and threatened to kill himself.

His ex-girlfriend fled the scene.

A half-hour later, she returned to find a pile of her clothes burning in the driveway, Hudson-MacRae told Androscoggin County Superior Court Justice Harold Stewart II on Tuesday.


Conley pulled the victim out of her car and pushed her to the ground, Hudson-MacRae said.

Conley ran into his ex-girlfriend’s home and damaged the front door, a window and a shower.

He emerged from the victim’s home with a knife with which he threatened to kill her and himself, swinging the knife in her direction, Hudson-MacRae said.

He stabbed the victim’s car with the knife and struck it with a shovel, then disabled the car by ripping out its battery, the prosecutor said.

Conley wrapped his arm around the neck of his ex-girlfriend and began strangling her, then kneed her in her ribs while she was on the ground, Hudson-Mac Rae said.

Police found Conley hiding in nearby bushes before he fled into nearby woods. A police dog tracked him, but he refused to stop for police and was eventually subdued with a Taser, she said.


Conley was charged with nine crimes in connection with that incident, including arson.

Prosecutors dropped five of those charges Tuesday, including arson. Conley was sentenced to four years in prison, but the judge suspended all of that time except for nine months and a day for a felony charge of domestic violence criminal threatening. After his release, Conley will be on probation for two years.

Conley also admitted to seven other crimes while he had been on bail, most of which stemmed from the August 2021 incident. Sentences on those crimes will run at the same time as the nine-month-and-one-day sentence, the judge said. Conley has been in jail roughly eight months for which he will receive credit toward his sentence, Justice Stewart said.

Conley’s criminal conduct began in August and continued for more than a month, according to the judge.

“It’s tragic,” he said. “I mean, your life spiraled out of control quickly and dangerously.”

Now that Conley is “clean and sober,” Stewart said, and with the help of mental health and substance abuse counseling, he should be able to return to the crime-free life he had lived before August.


Conley had no prior criminal record.

A letter to the judge written by Conley’s ex-girlfriend was read in court Tuesday.

In it, she said, “I don’t think Christian needs to do any more time.”

She said Conley needs to be with his two children.

The victim, who is suffering from serious medical conditions, said she and Conley “collided emotionally. He made a mistake.”

But, she added: “He’s also the most amazing man I’ve ever known. He has done things for me that no one else has ever done. I love you, Christian. Please, your honor. Let him out.”

Conley’s attorney, Edward Rabasco, said his client had become a crack cocaine user about six months before his first criminal conduct.

Conditions of Conley’s release from jail include no possession of alcohol and illegal drugs, or firearms. He must complete a domestic violence court program as well as mental health and substance abuse treatment.

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