The defendant in a contentious domestic violence case has been released from jail on $1,000 bail after a judge disqualified the entire York County District Attorney’s Office from prosecuting the case and Cumberland County District Attorney Stephanie Anderson had to take over.

Paul Olsen, 34, of Eliot, had been held for 32 months at the York County Jail in Alfred in lieu of $100,000 bail until Justice Nancy Mills cleared the way for his release Wednesday after a bail hearing in the Cumberland County Courthouse in Portland.

Anderson is now reviewing the case to determine whether it has become too tainted to take to trial.

Mills disqualified the York County prosecutors after finding Assistant District Attorney Thomas Miscio had knowingly received confidential documents written by Olsen’s attorney that contained the defense’s trial plans. Miscio read the documents without informing the court of the breach as he is required to do, Mills ruled.

Mills learned of the breach on May 4, the day before Olsen was due to stand trial in York County Superior Court in Alfred on charges that he assaulted and raped his former girlfriend in her home in Eliot in 2012. The judge immediately canceled the trial and said in a written order last week that Miscio’s actions have tainted his office’s ability to prosecute the case.

Olsen’s attorney, Amy Fairfield, and Anderson both said Thursday that the previous day’s bail hearing was called at the last minute to address the judge’s concerns about how much longer Olsen would be held while waiting for a new prosecutor to take up the complex case.


“It was sprung kind of suddenly, and (Olsen) was elated and relieved and a bit overwhelmed” at being released, Fairfield said. “The case was very uniquely postured, and there was a big fumble that caused yet another delay in the timing.”

Anderson said she talked twice this week to the alleged victim, who now lives in California, and with Fairfield afterward to come up with strict bail conditions for Olsen.

“We didn’t have any reason to believe he was a general threat to public safety, and we feel (Olsen) will show up to court,” Anderson said.

Anderson and Fairfield said they are negotiating to see if they can resolve the case without a trial.

Mills also ruled last week that if the case does go to trial, the defense may cross-examine Eliot police officers about long-simmering allegations that most have routinely falsified patrol reports. Although the reports had nothing to do with Olsen’s case, Fairfield wants to use them to challenge the credibility of the officers who investigated her client.

Fairfield has a pending motion to have the case against Olsen dismissed based on the York County District Attorney’s breach and subsequent interviews prosecutors may have conducted inappropriately with witnesses.


Mills decided Wednesday that if the case against Olsen does go to trial, a third district attorney’s office will have to take it over because Anderson must review confidential material concerning trial strategy to determine whether the case is too tainted to be brought to trial, Anderson said.

“The judge said I could get as tainted as I want,” Anderson said.

Anderson said Mills allowed her at least all of next week to prepare arguments on Fairfield’s motion to dismiss.

As conditions of bail, Olsen must live in New Hampshire, stay within New England and abide by a curfew from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. He was also ordered to undergo a psychological evaluation and a domestic violence risk assessment exam within 10 days of his release.

Olsen had been jailed since his arrest on Sept. 19, 2012. He has pleaded not guilty to charges of burglary, aggravated assault, gross sexual assault, domestic violence assault, domestic violence stalking, criminal threatening and criminal mischief.

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