A 26-year-old inmate at Cumberland County Jail is on life support at Maine Medical Center after attempting suicide Tuesday night inside his maximum security cell, the sheriff’s office said.

Correction officers found Dante Majeroni, 26, about 10:30 p.m., unresponsive with a sheet around his neck.

Majeroni, who was arrested Feb. 15 on domestic violence charges, had been placed in maximum security after trying to contact the victim of the alleged assault by phone.

Sheriff Kevin Joyce, who oversees the jail, said Majeroni tucked the sheet in between a waist-height window and some steel bars and dropped to the floor.

It was his second suicide attempt in recent weeks.

Majeroni was placed on suicide watch after the prior attempt, Joyce said.

“We’re awaiting to see what the outcome is,” he said. “It appears grave.”

Majeroni’s sister, Stephanie Majeroni, said the sheriff signed paperwork about 5:30 p.m. to give the hospital custody of her brother, allowing the guards who escorted him there to leave.

She said doctors believe Majeroni suffered severe brain damage from asphyxiation, and that if he regains consciousness, he will never be the same.

Joyce said two investigations are underway in response to the incident.

Although Majeroni has not died, Joyce said, the Portland Police Department is investigating, which is standard for all deaths at the jail.

“We’re also doing an internal (investigation) just to make sure our policies were followed (to) see if there’s anything else we can do to avoid any tragic situations like this occurring in the future,” Joyce said.

Stephanie Majeroni, 23, said her brother was first incarcerated at age 15, when he was sent to Long Creek Youth Development Center in South Portland.

In the roughly 11 years since he first got in trouble, he has been incarcerated for all but two or three, she said.

“He would be in and then he would get out a little bit, and then he would go back,” Majeroni said.

“It was very difficult trying to get help for him without insurance.”

Stephanie Majeroni said her brother’s troubles stem from childhood sexual abuse trauma that was never fully addressed. Majeroni discussed the abuse in a 2013 psychological evaluation, according to court records.

“He was trying to seek out love, and once somebody rejected him, it gave him those flashbacks of when he was younger, getting abused, the mental abuse,” she said. “The PTSD came in from the rejection.”

According to documents filed in Cumberland County Unified Court, Majeroni told a psychological evaluator that he was sexually abused as a small child.

Matt Byrne can be contacted at 791-6303 or at:

[email protected]