BANGOR — A former police chief charged with sexually assaulting two 5-year-old girls held a job at a residential facility for troubled teenagers, according to a police report released Wednesday.
The report, made public shortly before Carl E. Smith, 72, of Eddington appeared by video link in the Penobscot Judicial Center, also says that Smith fled from Maine because he thought that, as a former police officer, “he’d never make it in jail alive.”
Smith, who was police chief in the Penobscot County town of Howland, was arrested Saturday in Wells and is being held in the Penobscot County Jail. He appeared Wednesday on the video screen in court in Bangor, accompanied by attorney Kaylee Foster at the jail.
Smith, dressed in an orange jail uniform, said little during the hearing. He was not required to enter pleas to the four charges against him, the most serious a felony count of gross sexual assault punishable by as much as 30 years in prison.
Judge Gregory Campbell ordered Smith held on $100,000 cash bail while the case is pending, with conditions that he have no contact with children younger than 18, including the alleged victims, or some of their family members.
Before the court hearing, District Attorney R. Christopher Almy released the affidavit that Maine State Police filed in seeking a warrant for Smith’s arrest.
Almy said he was not aware of any allegations of wrongdoing by Smith at Ironwood, a residential facility for troubled teenagers in Morrill, and he would not say whether police were investigating his job there.
It was not immediately clear what job Smith held at Ironwood, or how long he worked there. A staff directory on the website for Ironwood does not include Smith’s name.
A woman who answered the phone Wednesday at Ironwood said she is not authorized to speak with the media and took a message regarding what Smith did for work there. No one returned the call.
The sexual assaults are alleged to have occurred on April 25 at a home in Eddington, Almy said. He did not provide additional information about how the girls came into contact with Smith.
In the affidavit, state police Detective Jay Pelletier wrote that police learned of Smith’s alleged assaults on the girls when a school principal reported that one of the girls had described the assaults happening while Smith was alone with them.
Smith is not related to the girls but sometimes was alone with them, Pelletier wrote.
Pelletier said in the affidavit that he first spoke with Smith about the allegations on May 1. Smith denied them and then said he thought he should speak with an attorney. Pelletier then ended the interview.
On May 3, Smith told an acquaintance that he had resigned his job at Ironwood and left Maine because he expected to be charged with a crime and didn’t believe he would survive in jail because of his law enforcement background, according to the affidavit. He said, “The only way it’s going to be resolved is if I die in prison or at my own hands.”
Smith was a law enforcement officer for 18 years, the last 13 as police chief in Howland, about 30 miles north of Bangor. He left law enforcement in 1988, Wells police said in a news release Saturday. He also served in the military for 32 years.
Pelletier reached Smith by phone on May 5, when Smith told him he had taken two loaded handguns from his house but would not say where he was.
The acquaintance told Pelletier that Smith had told her to sell a car, his coins and his guns, and said he planned to return to Maine and then “vanish,” the affidavit said.
Pelletier spoke with Smith two days later.
“He was contemplating three options, 1) Come back to Maine and ‘do whatever we have to do to get this over with’ 2) Find a hole to dive into and pull it in after him, and 3) ‘Do away with himself,’ ” Pelletier wrote.
Smith was arrested Saturday morning after an all-night stakeout by Wells police and Maine State Police, who learned that Smith had returned to Maine and checked into a hotel in Wells the previous night.
Smith was considered armed and dangerous, so police followed him from the hotel to “the least populated area” on Post Road and Bypass Road, where they stopped his car and arrested him, Wells police said in the news release.
Police said Smith had a loaded Colt .38 special snub-nose pistol in one of his boots.
“The information we had was that he realized that he was going to get charged so he left the state. He went west as far as North Dakota, and then decided to come back,” Almy told the Portland Press Herald on Saturday.
State police alerted Wells police Friday night that Smith had rented a hotel room in the York County town.
“It was determined that attempting to arrest Smith at the hotel would put the public at undue risk,” said the news release.
State police kept the hotel under surveillance until 4 a.m. Saturday, then Wells police watched until 10 a.m., when Smith checked out. They followed his car in an unmarked vehicle and blocked northbound and southbound traffic until he was taken into custody without incident, the news release said.
Smith has no previous criminal record and lives on his Social Security income, his attorney said.
He is the second former high-ranking law enforcement officer to be arrested in recent months on sexual assault charges involving children.
Andrew Demers Jr., 73, of New Gloucester, a former chief of the Maine State Police, was arrested March 17 and charged with unlawful sexual contact with a minor in incidents from Feb. 14 to March 14.
A Cumberland County grand jury later indicted him on an elevated charge of gross sexual assault, a felony punishable by as much as 30 years in prison.
Demers has admitted to having sexual contact with a 4-year-old relative, according to the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office. He pleaded not guilty last month at his initial court appearance to face the charges.
Demers was allowed to remain free on $5,000 cash bail while his case is pending. He posted bail after his arrest.
Scott Dolan can be contacted at 791-6304 or at: