May 24, 2020

Saco man gets 80 years for attack on girl

ALFRED — A Saco man who pleaded guilty to multiple charges stemming from the rape and stabbing of a 15-year-old York girl was sentenced Wednesday to 80 years in prison.

Superior Court Justice Thomas A. Delahanty called the July 1991 assault by 34-year-old David G. Fleming one of the most heinous and violent crimes he had seen.

Fleming was given maximum sentences of 40 years each for Class A charges of attempted murder, kidnapping and rape, 10 years for a Class B charge of aggravated assault, and 364 days for a misdemeanor charge of unlawful sexual contact. Delahanty set the attempted murder sentence to be served consecutively to the others.

Fleming, who was convicted in 1980 of two rapes and released in October 1990, told the judge at Wednesday’s hearing in York County Superior Court that he felt remorseful for his crimes and offered to pay the victim’s family $35,000 for medical and other expenses.

“I find it very hard living with myself for what I did,” he said. “I feel as though I’ve torn my heart and soul in half.”

However, the judge’s action drew smiles and nods from some of those in attendance, who included the victim, her twin sister, father and stepmother.

“I think it’s a fair and just sentence,” said District Attorney Michael Cantara, who urged Delahanty to impose a sentence that would prevent Fleming from ever being released from jail.

Prior to sentencing, Cantara told the judge, “It’s clear that if he were ever released into the community again, he would brutalize women and girls again.”

Afterwards, Cantara said Fleming would not be eligible for release from prison until Aug. 24, 2045, at which time he would be 87.

Following the court hearing, the victim’s father and stepmother held a news conference at which they called for legislative action to promote victim rights laws and curb early release for convicts.

Michael O’Keefe and his wife, Debbie Dale, both of Cape Neddick, also urged more leeway for judges in determining whether sentences on separate charges should be concurrent or consecutive.

“Too often a person is found guilty on a number of charges and is allowed to serve them concurrently, at the same time,” O’Keefe said. “This does not punish an offender for committing multiple crimes.”

Authorities accused Fleming of running down the girl with his car while she was riding her bicycle on Shore Road in Cape Neddick on July 12, 1991.

She told police that, after he tried to talk her into going to a hospital with him, he forced her into the car and drove to a secluded location. There, she said, he raped her, stabbed her near the heart and slashed her throat, and left her for dead under a pile of leaves.

She crawled to a nearby home and was taken to York Hospital and subsequently helped identify Fleming as her attacker.

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