CALAIS — A District Court judge ruled Monday that a former Eastport police officer is guilty of contempt for violating a protection from harassment order filed against him by his former girlfriend. The judge fined the former police officer $400.
In a written decision filed in the Calais District Court Tuesday, Judge James MacMichael said that Robert Gregory, 54, violated the protection order on several occasions and that he “intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly” performed acts that were prohibited by the order.
In January 1997, Gregory’s former girlfriend Paulette Garrido sought a court order to protect her from Gregory’s continued harassment. Gregory was ordered to avoid any direct or indirect contact with Garrido. The order remains in effect until Feb. 15.
During Gregory’s contempt hearing last month, Garrido told the judge that Gregory had continued to bother her even after a 4th District Court judge granted the protection from harassment order in January. In August, the Maine State Police arrested Gregory and charged him with contempt for violating the protection order.
Gregory testified that Garrido was the first to contact him, calling him at his home and talking for more than two hours on the telephone. Gregory said that he began secretly videotaping the woman, who is a mail carrier and delivers Gregory’s mail, taping telephone conversations and leaving notes in the window “to entice her to call me.” He said he took those actions with the knowledge and blessing of Marge Berkovich, an investigator with the state Attorney General’s Office.
In his written decision, MacMichael ruled that Gregory had violated the order when he placed written messages, mostly expressions of love, in the window of his recreational vehicle, initiated at least one telephone conversation with Garrido, left a note and several cassettes on her picnic table during the summer of 1997, and left a pink azalea plant close to her apartment door.
Although he conceded that Garrido had initiated some conversations with Gregory, the judge ruled that Gregory still was in contempt of the court order.
After 20 years in law enforcement, Gregory, who now lives in Canaan, is working as a truck driver.