Nathaniel R. Dillon, 31, of Randolph stands Wednesday with his lawyer, Jennifer Cohen, before closing arguments during his trial in Augusta on four counts of gross sexual assault. A jury found him not guilty Thursday on all charges. Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal

AUGUSTA — A jury found a Randolph man not guilty Thursday of sexually assaulting a girl when she was 10 and 11 years old.

Nathaniel R. Dillon, 31, was acquitted on all four counts of gross sexual assault.

Dillon was accused of sexually assaulting the girl, the daughter of his now-former girlfriend, four times between August 2020 and April 2021 at the Cobbossee Motel at 7 Carlton Pond Road in Winthrop, where she, Dillon, her mother and her siblings lived. The girl was 10 and 11 years old when the assaults were alleged to have taken place.

The Kennebec Journal is not naming Dillon’s young accuser or her mother because the newspaper’s policy is not to identify alleged victims of sexual assault.

Dillon’s defense lawyer, Jennifer Cohen, said the sexual assaults never happened, and the allegations were made up by the girl’s mother because she was angry and jealous after Dillon ended their 10-year relationship and planned to marry another woman, Tiffany Wells.

Cohen said the state presented no physical evidence in the case, including any indication of injuries suffered by the girl, because it does not exist.


“Nathaniel Dillon is not guilty. He did not sexually assault (the girl), and you know that to be true,” Cohen told jurors in her closing arguments Wednesday.

Cohen said it defies logic the girl would not be injured in some way if what she described Dillon doing to her had happened.

“There is no physical evidence,” Cohen said. “Police had no information that she was injured. There was no sexual abuse examiner here to tell you there were any injuries, because there weren’t any.”

After hearing the not guilty verdict Thursday, Cohen said, “I am pleased to see justice done.”

Prosecutor Frayla Tarpinian, a deputy district attorney for Kennebec County, said in her closing arguments Wednesday the now-13-year-old girl struggled in her testimony to talk about things a young girl should never have to discuss.

Tarpinian said the girl used the words of a child to describe what happened to her, especially in a video-recorded interview with a child advocate, which was played for jurors, in which the girl described the multiple times Dillon allegedly sexually assaulted her.


“You heard the story of abuse through the words of a child, the story of (the victim’s) abuse at the hands of Nathan Dillon,” Tarpinian told the jurors. “She didn’t use words an adult put in her head. She used the words an 11-year-old has.

“She told you it happened regularly here in Maine, at least once a month in the eight months they lived in Winthrop. You have all the evidence you need to find this defendant guilty of gross sexual assault.”

After more than four hours of deliberations Wednesday and another half-hour Thursday morning, jurors reached unanimous not guilty findings on each of the four counts.

“I respect the decision of the jury and my thoughts are with the victim and her family. It was a privilege to meet such a brave young woman,” Maeghan Maloney, district attorney for Kennebec and Somerset counties, said after the verdict was announced.

Wells and Margaret Sahimi, friends of Dillon who testified for the defense Wednesday, returned to the courtroom to hear the verdict Thursday. They expressed relief at the outcome of the trial, with at least one in tears.

Sahimi told Dillon she would meet him later that morning, after he was finished being processed from the Kennebec County Correctional Facility in Augusta following his acquittal. Dillon was in jail throughout the trial.


Dillon shook Cohen’s hand and thanked her.

In her closing arguments, Cohen cited the testimony of Sahimi, a longtime close friend of Dillon who also knew the girl’s mother, as showing the girl’s mother could have been seeking revenge against Dillon by raising the accusations of her daughter.

When asked by Cohen what the girl’s mother had told her she would do if Dillon ended their relationship, Sahimi answered, “She said if he ever broke up with her, he would be sorry.” Sahimi said she repeated this in multiple conversations.

Dillon’s young accuser took the witness stand Tuesday, often struggling to find words to describe what she claimed Dillon had done to her when her mother was working away from the motel.

After the girl paused at length several times when asked questions about her allegations against Dillon, prosecutors sought to play a video and audio recording of an interview with the girl by a child advocate in Texas.

Before the recording was played for jurors, lawyers for both sides argued whether the recording of the girl’s interview with the child advocate could be played in court, to supplement her strained testimony.


Superior Court Justice Deborah Cashman allowed the recording to be played, a ruling that could be a factor in other cases in Maine in which videos of child advocate interviews of child victims are recorded.

Jurors watched the video again Wednesday afternoon, after they had been deliberating and asked to view the video again.

Cohen objected to the video being played for jurors multiple times, saying the standards established in prior case law for showing such a video in court were not met.

In the recorded interview with a child advocate in Texas, played in court Tuesday, the first day of the trial, the girl said one of the times she was assaulted by Dillon, she was screaming and Wells walked into the room as Dillon was touching the girl’s private part. The girl said Wells appeared shocked.

Wells, now Dillon’s former fiancee, testified Wednesday that never happened. She said she never saw anything inappropriate take place between Dillon and the girl. She said she had once seen Dillon and the girl cuddling when the girl’s mother was present.

Wells also testified she would not leave her own children alone with Dillon. Later in the trial, under questioning by Cohen, Wells said she would not leave her children alone with any adult male.

Dillon did not take the stand in his own defense. When asked by the judge if it was his decision not to take the stand to testify, he answered, “Yes, ma’am.”

Related Headlines

Comments are not available on this story.