ROCKLAND – A judge offered a Tenants Harbor man more time Tuesday to decide whether to testify in his trial on charges he sexually abused his daughter.
Maurice Hupper, 65, and his wife, Delores Hupper, 44, were arrested in March on charges that they sexually abused their daughter, now 18.
He was facing 294 counts until Monday, when his Superior Court trial began.
Then, charges were reduced to 41 for administrative purposes. Delores Hupper, who was charged with 10 counts – five counts each of gross sexual assault and unlawful sexual contact – pleaded guilty late Monday to one count of unlawful sexual contact.
In a plea agreement with the state, Delores Hupper was to cooperate in the trial against her husband in exchange for dismissal of the other charges and a five-year sentencing cap.
She admitted to the judge that she had sexual contact with her daughter, which included penetration.
When the trial continued Tuesday, Delores Hupper and a son testified they witnessed Maurice Hupper and the daughter in bed together.
But, they testified, they did not see Maurice Hupper and his daughter involved in a sex act.
She admitted to the judge she had sexual contact with her daughter.
At mid-afternoon Tuesday, the trial recessed so that Maurice Hupper could contemplate whether to testify.
He is now charged with 19 gross sexual assaults and 22 unlawful sexual contacts.
Shortly before the recess, the jury left the courtroom so Justice John Atwood could question Hupper about his initial decision not to take the stand.
Atwood indicated that Hupper did not want to testify and that the judge wanted to make sure Hupper understood that he had the right not to.
Hupper said he heard his attorney Lawrence Frier’s opinion, but he thought he might need a second opinion.
The defendant also indicated he was awaiting a fax from the state Department of Marine Resources in Augusta that he said could prove he was not with his daughter on one of the days he is accused of abusing her.
Atwood offered Hupper more time to decide.
Also outside the presence of the jury, the prosecution objected to admitting four pages of writings from the victim’s diary as evidence.
The judge decided he would review the notes before ruling on whether the pages contain inconsistencies with the victim’s testimony.
During testimony Tuesday, Delores Hupper told the court her husband had their daughter fondle the mother while the parents had sex.
And a friend of the Huppers’ daughter, who was alleged to have been abused by Maurice Hupper, testified that he sexually abused her as well as his daughter at the same time. According to testimony during the first day of the trial, the friend was 12 at the time and Huppers’ daughter was 13.
One of the daughter’s former teachers and a guidance counselor took the stand Tuesday.
Both testified that Huppers’ daughter frequently was absent from school.
“She was out of school more than she was there,” SAD 50 teacher Sharold Bowman said. SAD 50 comprises Thomaston, St. George and Cushing.
On Monday, the victim said her father would insist she skip school so he could have sex with her.
The educators also identified notes from the victim, which Deputy District Attorney Leane Zainea had said described the sexual abuse by her father.
Frier asked the SAD 50 employees if they ever asked why the victim seldom attended school.
Guidance counselor Colleen Kreps said Delores Hupper said the parents just couldn’t get her to go to school.
During cross-examination of Knox County Sheriff’s Detective Ernie McIntosh,
Frier asked whether he knew the daughter was not pregnant at the time he and Detective Donna Dennison arranged a taped telephone call between the victim and her father.
During the telephone conversation, the daughter told the father she was pregnant.
“I believe she said she was not,” McIntosh said.
In the tape, Hupper indicates that if his daughter were at home, he would have sex with her.
The trial is expected to end today.
Since the Huppers’ arrests, they have remained in Knox County. His bail is set at $50,000 single surety or $25,000 cash; her bail is $25,000 single surety or $5,000 cash. Bail was continued on Delores Hupper and a presentence investigation was ordered after her guilty plea.