September 19, 2019

2 County men sentenced for sex, drug crimes

CARIBOU – Two men from the St. John Valley were arrested Wednesday after pleading guilty in Aroostook County Superior Court to separate charges involving sexually abusing a teen-age girl and selling illegal drugs.

James St. Pierre, 52, of Madawaska was charged with gross sexual assault in connection with abusing the girl for more than three years. Justice Paul T. Pierson sentenced him to three years in jail, with all but 18 months suspended and three years of probation.

During St. Pierre’s hearing, Deputy District Attorney John Pluto noted the defendant’s son had been sentenced earlier for abusing the same victim during the same time period. Scott St. Pierre, 19, of Madawaska was sentenced in August on charges of gross sexual assault.

“This is the only case I’ve ever prosecuted where the natural father and [son] abused the same victim,” said Pluto during the hearing.

The life of the victim, now a young woman graduated from high school, is “shattered,” Pluto said. “She’s left trying to build a life for herself. She’s just out of high school.”

The young victim attended the hearing. She sat quietly during the session, crying at times.

St. Pierre’s lawyer, James Lavertu of Madawaska, said his client felt “deep remorse,” and that St. Pierre’s decision to plead guilty to protect the victim from experiencing a trial should be considered by the judge during sentencing.

The sentence issued by the judge was derived from a recommendation by Pluto and Lavertu in exchange for the guilty plea.

Andrew Jackson, 53, of Fort Kent received a two-year sentence with all but six months suspended and two years of probation for trafficking in scheduled drugs.

Jackson, who blamed his drug abuse problem on trauma he experienced while serving in a medic unit during the Vietnam War, also was ordered by the judge to pay a $5,000 fine and to reimburse county government $600 for his stay at the Aroostook County Jail in Houlton.

Jackson’s charges stemmed from two purchases of marijuana made by undercover agents in May and June 1999. During a subsequent search of his residence, drug enforcement agents found almost five pounds of the drug, as well as several firearms, growing equipment and scales.

Jackson’s lawyer, Bill Smith of Van Buren, said his client’s traumatic experiences working with wounded and maimed soldiers in Vietnam led to his use of marijuana, which continued after the war was over.

Jackson told the judge that he realizes he needs to change his life and “not do the same thing again.”

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