In court paperwork filed Tuesday, an attorney for Anthony Sanborn Jr. leveled more accusations of misconduct on the part of two Portland detectives and a former state prosecutor who helped convict Sanborn of a 1989 murder he says he did not commit.

The 22-page filing by Sanborn’s attorney, Amy Fairfield, adds to the list of allegations of wrongdoing lodged against various state officials. It includes alleged instances of police concealing accusations of rape made against a key witness who implicated Sanborn; destroying and altering evidence helpful to Sanborn before it was handed over to his defense team, and that a prosecutor pressured a witness to testify a certain way.

Sanborn, 44, was convicted in 1992 of the stabbing death of Jessica Briggs, whose body was found in Casco Bay. Sanborn and Briggs were 16 at the time and had briefly dated several weeks before Briggs’s death.

Prosecuting the case was then-Assistant Attorney General Pamela Ames, and the murder was investigated by lead detective James Daniels and detective Daniel Young of the Portland Police Department. Ames did not return a call seeking comment Wednesday. Daniels declined comment when reached Wednesday, and no contact information for Young could be located. All three have denied Fairfield’s allegations.

In an earlier affidavit, Young said he was offended by the suggestion that he didn’t turn over all the information police had to Sanborn’s lawyers.

“The reports I completed in this case are truthful (and) factual,” Young said. “There were no ‘secret deals’ or suppressed interviews in this case. Det. Daniels and I, along with the prosecutors, have professional standards and moral beliefs that were followed throughout this investigation.”


Ames, Daniels and Young could be among the witnesses called to testify about their conduct at a series of hearings scheduled for May 24-26.

Sanborn was freed April 13 on bail after the state’s star witness to the crime, Hope Cady, recanted her testimony and said Daniels and Young had threatened her with prosecution if she didn’t testify as they directed her to.

Cady was also legally blind at the time of the killing, a fact that was never disclosed to the defense team, according to Fairfield.

In the new filing, Fairfield also attempted to cast doubt on the credibility of Gerard Rossi, a friend of Sanborn who testified at trial that Sanborn had told him three times he had killed Briggs.

Rossi denied during trial that prosecutors or police gave him any special treatment or deals in exchange for his testimony. But Fairfield alleges that police failed to disclose allegations of rape against Rossi to defense lawyers, and that he had been arrested the day before he appeared in court to testify at Sanborn’s bind-over proceeding, which resulted in the charges against Sanborn being transferred from juvenile to adult court.

According to Fairfield, Rossi was charged on July 17, 1990, with aggravated furnishing of scheduled drugs for allegedly providing Haldol, a powerful anti-psychotic, to a 13-year-old girl and plying her with alcohol. The girl then reported to Portland Police that Rossi raped her, according to Fairfield.


Fairfield also alleges that Portland Police had received complaints from at least four girls, all under age 18, who said they were raped by Rossi, including Michelle Lincoln, who married Sanborn in 2012.

In one instance, one of the Portland detectives obtained records from a Maine hospital visit by one of the girls who told staff and doctors she had been raped by Rossi.

“Despite this,” Fairfield wrote, “Rossi was never charged with any conduct against these girls, nor was his felony probation violated. An inference could certainly be drawn that Rossi received promises, favors, inducements and plea deals in exchange for his testimony against Tony.”

Fairfield said that the documented rape allegations against Rossi mean Daniels perjured himself at trial when he told the court, after being asked, that there were no credible reports by teen-aged girls alleging they were raped by Rossi.

The new filing also includes another witness, David Schwarz, who was interviewed repeatedly by detectives but whose statements were never turned over to Sanborn’s lawyers.

Fairfield wrote that another witness, Glen Brown, was in custody when he was interviewed by police. Brown at trial testified that he had seen Sanborn on the night of the murder and that Sanborn had told Brown he was looking for Briggs, was angry with her and that he had just bought a new buck knife.


Brown recanted his testimony later, and said it was “99 percent false,” and said Ames had threatened him with prosecution if he did not testify in a certain way.

Fairfield also wrote that police altered and withheld portions of a tape, whose contents were not described, before it was turned over to the defense team; and that Michelle Lincoln was threatened with prosecution if she did not testify to a version of events specified by Ames, or that she would not receive immunity and would be prosecuted for Briggs’s murder. Lincoln declined to testify, employing her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, according to the document.

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

[email protected]

Twitter: MattByrnePPH

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