PORTLAND — A Portland man whose violent sexual urges have been a concern to authorities is now accused of exposing himself to a woman on a trail.

Steven Ricci, 47, pleaded not guilty Monday in Cumberland County Superior Court to a misdemeanor charge of indecent conduct. Police said the victim was on a trail near Capisic Street last Tuesday when she heard a noise, turned around and saw a man exposing himself. Ricci was arrested without incident Friday.

Ricci has told authorities he has fantasies about rape, including how he would commit them. He has expressed a desire in the past to get treatment and had been ordered to do so in 2008 in connection with a probation violation.

Although Ricci is not required to register as a sex offender, his history has prompted police to notify residents of his Brighton Avenue neighborhood of his presence.

On Monday, Ricci could be heard yelling before he entered the courtroom, disheveled and in yellow jail clothes. Ricci, who was born with cerebral palsy, walked with an unsteady gait and made jerky movements.

In a loud voice, he greeted Justice Joyce Wheeler, entered his plea and said he was worried about losing his disability and his job. He continued to speak after Wheeler reminded him that anything he said could and would be used against him in the case.

Wheeler ordered Ricci to be held on bail of $200,000 surety or $50,000 cash.

Deputy District Attorney Meg Elam and William Michaud, who served as Ricci’s attorney Monday, had agreed to those conditions until a permanent lawyer is hired or appointed and another bail hearing takes place. That hearing is scheduled for today.

“We requested that amount of bail because of Mr. Ricci’s history of sexually violent behavior and his years’ worth of threats to commit rapes and specific, described plans to commit rape,” Elam said after the proceeding.

J.P. DeGrinney, who was Ricci’s attorney several years ago, was appointed to represent him in the current case. DeGrinney said Monday he had not yet seen any of the information about the case.

“Steven has worked very hard to confront and address his issues. I’m hoping this is a misunderstanding,” DeGrinney said during a telephone interview.

DeGrinney said he has been in contact with Ricci since the resolution of a 2007 probation violation. He said it was his understanding that Ricci did complete an intensive counseling program out of state.

In 2006, Ricci was charged with attempted sexual abuse of a minor. He had followed a 15-year-old girl in his pickup truck on Cumberland Road in North Yarmouth. He told police he thought the girl was 13 and that he wanted to persuade her to have sex with him in the truck.

In that case, he eventually pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of indecent conduct.

Ricci admitted to violating the terms of his probation by going into an adult entertainment store in 2007. The next year, he agreed to receive mental health treatment and prosecutors dropped the charge of violating conditions of release.

Lt. Gary Rogers, head of Portland police detectives, said police have been working with a number of agencies to find a way to deal with Ricci.

“He is a danger to be out in the community. He needs to be either in treatment or in jail,” Rogers said.

 

Staff Writer Ann S. Kim can be contacted at 791-6383 or at: [email protected]