After a five-year battle to clear his name, one-time district attorney candidate Seth Carey of Rumford filed suit in Oxford County this week accusing the Maine State Police of malicious prosecution.

Carey said in legal papers that police filed “completely false criminal charges” against him that led to the loss of his law license and damaged his career.

He also sued the district attorney for Hancock and Washington counties, Robert Granger, whose office handled the case that left him “effectively disbarred and his reputation ruined to the point that he cannot even get a job as a waiter.”

Neither the police nor prosecutor have had a chance yet to respond to the new filing. But state police said last month they take domestic violence cases seriously and put in long hours on the case brought against Carey.

Carey, 48, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge for which he had to pay a $300 fine.

The incident stemmed from an ugly dispute in 2018 with a woman he lived with in Rumford that led to a protective order, suspension of Carey’s law license and his arrest by state police in 2021 on felony charges of attempted gross sexual assault and attempted aggravated sex trafficking, as well as misdemeanors of unlawful sexual contact, domestic assault and engaging in prostitution.


Carey has steadfastly insisted on his innocence since the accusations first surfaced and sought to explain to anyone who would listen why the woman, whose identity the Sun Journal is withholding due to the nature of the case, should not be believed.

Hancock County Assistant District Attorney Heather Staples, who works for Granger, dropped the charges this year.

Carey said in his legal filing that he pleaded guilty to the single new charge because it was “the only way out of having to wait more months or years to easily win at jury trial, to get his law license back and to finally be employable without felonies putting him on do-not-hire lists.”

But, he said, “none of the benefits of dispatching this case have come to fruition” so he is asking a judge to “reopen the case and move for sanctions” against police and prosecutors.

Carey has long maintained that he was the victim of a smear campaign by police, prosecutors and the woman.

In the statement to reporters Thursday, Carey said officials “ran with the false allegation” against him in 2018 “in order to eliminate me from competing” as the Republican nominee for district attorney against incumbent Democrat Andrew Robinson, who is now a judge.


“I have no place to find justice for my career and profession,” Carey said in the statement.

He said the case has its roots in a lawsuit he filed years ago against “bad apple judges” who helped ruin his legal career in retaliation.

Carey’s view got a boost last month when his defense attorney, James Howaniec of Lewiston, rebuked the Maine State Police after nearly all of the charges against Carey were dropped.

“In bringing these charges in the first place, the Maine State Police has engaged in an outrageous abuse of government power,” Howaniec wrote. “Seth lost his law license and livelihood because of these obviously bogus allegations.”

He said the police “waited three years to bring a multicount felony sexual assault indictment against him” at a time when Carey was trying to get his license back and run once again for district attorney.

“Despite no history of criminal behavior, Seth was arrested in Florida facedown in a Walmart parking lot by six federal U.S. marshals with their rifles drawn. He sat was then allowed to sit in a Florida county jail for nine days before being extradited to Maine by two Maine State Police detectives,” Howaniec said.


Once back in Maine, he added, Carey was quickly released on a low cash bail.

Carey said in his legal filing this week that he “was maliciously arrested, jailed, extradited and falsely accused to the media of heinous, yet completely false criminal charges.”

Though nearly all the charges were dropped, he said, “the damage has been done,” particularly the loss of law license that he hasn’t been able to restore.

Carey said he “has been de facto disbarred for no valid reason.”

Carey said the damage to his career is immeasurable and maintains the police and “other government actors” targeted him so he would “not be able to run for district attorney and change a broken and corrupt system.”

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