AUGUSTA — A former Kennebec County Sheriff’s deputy facing 16 domestic violence and sexual assault charges appears headed for a jury trial, with jury selection scheduled for early October.

Daniel Ross, 30, of West Gardiner, who has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him, remains jailed, having been unable for more than a year to make the $100,000 bail. He is being held in Somerset County Jail in Madison, according to District Attorney Maeghan Maloney.

Daniel Ross Courtesy of Somerset County Sheriff’s Office

On Wednesday Superior Court Justice Michaela Murphy set Ross’ case for jury selection Oct. 5 and 6. His trial, unless a plea deal is reached before then, would follow jury selection, though it would not necessarily start immediately after a jury is selected.

The trial would take about three days, Maloney and Ross’ new attorney, Darrick Banda, told Murphy.

Ross was arrested in August of last year when Maine State Police initially charged him with nine counts, including domestic violence assault, domestic violence criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon and unlawful sexual contact.

He was then indicted in October 2022 on 15 counts, the most serious being a Class A felony-level charge of gross sexual assault, punishable by up to 30 years in prison. An indictment is not a determination of guilt, but indicates enough evidence exists for a case to move forward to trial.


He is also charged with multiple counts of domestic violence terrorizing with a dangerous weapon, and with domestic violence aggravated assault.

The charges stemmed from incidents alleged to have occurred over several months in 2022 at a house in West Gardiner, involving Ross’ wife. She told police he threatened to stun her in the thigh with his work Taser and threatened her with a knife, according to the indictment. She also told authorities Ross threatened her multiple times with a firearm, according to affidavits.

He also allegedly threatened to shoot his sleeping 5-year-old daughter in the head and then turn the gun on himself.

The Kennebec Journal’s policy is not to name alleged victims of sexual assault. However, the newspaper is describing Ross’ relationship to the alleged victim and another family member to clarify that those impacted by his reported behavior were not random members of the public.

In November 2022 a judge denied Ross’ request to reduce his bail, from $100,000 to $5,000.

Late last month Ross was indicted, again, by a Kennebec County grand jury, on most of the same charges for which he was already indicted last year.


Maloney said some of the charges of domestic violence terrorizing were changed to domestic violence criminal threatening.

She said those changes were made in response to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Counterman v. Colorado, in June. In that case the court ruled that to convict someone of making a violent threat, prosecutors have to prove a defendant knew their behavior was threatening.

Maloney said she decided to dismiss two counts of terrorizing and add three counts of criminal threatening to the indictment, in response to the precedent set by the Supreme Court decision. She noted both those crimes are in the same category of crime, Class C felonies.

“It was a charging decision due to a legal decision that came down from the U.S. Supreme Court,” Maloney said of the altered charges.

She said two terrorizing counts against Ross remain as they should not be impacted by the Supreme Court’s ruling.

Maloney said a judicial conference on the case did not result in any agreement on a potential settlement to the case. Ross is expected to be arraigned Friday on the altered charges against him.


Ross began working for the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office on March 16, 2021. During his time with the department, Ross received a written reprimand for violating the county’s COVID-19 policy, but faced no other disciplinary actions, according to the sheriff.

Ross also worked for the Maine Capitol Police and Gardiner Police Department, and was not subject to disciplinary action during his employment with those agencies.

A previous attorney for Ross said, in court during a prior bail hearing, that Ross has no criminal record, strong family support, vehemently maintains his innocence, served his state and community in his law enforcement role, served his country in the military in Afghanistan and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Ross, who was initially placed on paid administrative leave after the allegations, has since been fired by the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office, according to Lt. Chris Read, a spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office.

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