LEWISTON — The former principal of Robert V. Connors Elementary School, accused of stalking and sexually assaulting a woman in December, has been cleared of the accusations. 

The woman who made the claims against Donald Ferrara Jr., meanwhile, has been charged in two counties with making false statements. 

A temporary protection order filed against Ferrara in December was vacated Thursday in a district court in Wiscasset. The move came after accusations against him were investigated in Lincoln and Androscoggin counties. 

As a result of those investigations, Heidi Towle, 29, of Dresden has been charged with unsworn falsification and harassment in Androscoggin County and making a false public report in Lincoln County. 

Augusta Attorney Walter F. McKee said that while his client was happy to have the matter behind him, the damage done to Ferrara’s life is ongoing. 

Towle had been making complaints about Ferrara dating back to 2012, according to court records.  


In a 14-page statement she provided to police, Towle made several claims against Ferrara, including that he had forced her to carve his initials into her breasts, that he raped her at a campground in Leeds and that at one point, he forced her at gunpoint to take drugs. 

According to police reports, those claims were proved false by Ferrara’s alibis or through Towle’s later admissions that she had fabricated certain parts of her reports. 

“Don has been living this nightmare of false allegations for years,” McKee said. “He lost his job over this initial finding, which has now been completely vacated. He is thankful that justice has finally been done.” 

According to one person close to the case, Ferrara had helped Towle with a personal problem more than a decade ago. There was never any physical relationship, the source said, but Towle grew fond of Ferrara and proceeded to make claims about him. 

Police have been investigating those claims since 2012, but the matter came to a boil late last year after a court approved a temporary protection order against Ferrara. 

In late November 2023, Towle reported to police that Ferrara had threatened to kill her, her mother and her goats. She also claimed that Ferrara had drugged her with a bottle of purple liquid, although a toxicology test later revealed no drugs in Towle’s system. 


According to court documents, police also found that Towle changed the timeline of events after investigations revealed that Ferrara was elsewhere when he was accused of accosting her in Greene — police were able to determine Ferrara’s location on specific dates through home security cameras, store receipts, the school and a surveillance camera at a market in Sabattus. 

In spite of that, according to police reporters, Towle continued to make her claims against Ferrara, changing her story several times to fit her narrative. 

“Three detectives from two counties spent an incredible amount of time investigating the allegations here,” McKee said. “They were there today in court ready to testify about their investigation and determination that the allegations were made up. Don is so appreciative of their work to show that he never, ever did anything, and finally the person that made these false allegations is being prosecuted.” 

Police have cited Towle for harassment four times since 2021. Three harassment orders were issued out of the Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Office and in September 2023, Lewiston police charged Towle with harassment. 

But, investigators said, Towle’s claims against Ferrara continued unabated. 

In January, a Lincoln County sheriff’s detective investigated 61 menacing text messages Towle said she had received from Ferrara. After an investigation that included assistance from Google and from a cellphone service provider, police determined that Towle had created a fake account and sent the messages to herself.  


When confronted with this information, according to the report, Towle hung her head, started to cry and said she did it because she wanted the abuse to stop. 

She was then summonsed on charges of making a false public report and stalking. 

Likewise, in Androscoggin County, police only pursued charges against Towle after she persisted in making claims against Ferrara after being caught several times in lies. 

“I request this case be reviewed for charges of unsworn falsification, stalking and harassment,” wrote Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Department Detective Troy Young, during the most recent investigation.  

Young wrote that in Towle’s 14-page statement, she had clearly contradicted claims she had made in other meetings with the detective. 

Ultimately, the detective concluded, it was the former school principal who became the victim of repeated harassment. 


“Donald Ferrara is (continuously) going through extreme mental anguish with the repeated false accusations,” the detective wrote, “prompting not only police contact and questioning, but also internal investigations by the school department every time they become aware of an allegation.” 

Ferrara has been an educator in Lewiston since 2012 when he was hired as a vice principal at the high school. Prior to that, he had been an assistant principal at Hall-Dale High School in Hallowell. 

In 2018, he was nominated as interim principal for both Longley and Martel elementary schools. He was later named principal at Connors Elementary after the departure of Principal Sara Sims. 

After Ferrara was served with a protection order in December, he was placed on administrative leave at Connors.

McKee said Thursday that Ferrara no longer works at the school.

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