State Supreme Court Overturns Convictions of 2 Men Convicted of Sex Crimes
Harrison, Judy, Bangor Daily News (Bangor, ME)
PORTLAND, Maine -- The Maine Supreme Judicial Court on Thursday unanimously reversed the convictions of two men incarcerated after being convicted of sex crimes because jurors in the separate cases were told the defendants refused to cooperate with investigators.
The court sent the cases back to the lower courts.
Spencer T. Glover , 32, of Bryant Pond was sentenced in July 2012 to 10 years with all but six years suspended and three years of probation after being convicted of Class B gross sexual assault at the Oxford County Courthouse in Paris.
He refused to voluntarily submit to a DNA test, which, under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, he had a right to do, the justices ruled. The prosecution should not have suggested to jurors that the refusal implied that he was guilty, the court found.
In the other case, Jason M. Lovejoy, 41, of North Carolina was sentenced in August 2012 at the Cumberland County Courthouse in Portland to 20 years with all but 16 suspended and 10 years of probation after his conviction on two counts of Class A gross sexual assault.
Justices found that Lovejoy invoked his right against self- incrimination, protected by the Fifth Amendment, when he hung up on investigators and refused to return their phone calls. The prosecutor's statements to the jury about his silence denied Lovejoy a fair trial, the court found.
Both men are seeking to be released on bail, their attorneys said Friday.
James Billings of Augusta represented Glover when the appeal was argued before the state's high court in December. Jeremy Pratt of Camden represented Lovejoy in his appeal, heard in September. Neither attorney represented the defendants at their trials.
Efforts to reach prosecutors in the cases to determine if new trials would be sought were unsuccessful Friday. …