Dennis Anglea

BIDDEFORD — The superintendent of schools has declined to speak about a Biddeford School Committee member facing assault charges, saying that he can’t comment on his bosses.

Dennis Anglea, 58, was indicted on Thursday at York County Superior Court on felony charges for aggravated assault, attempted gross sexual and domestic violence assault.

Anglea has served on the Biddeford School Committee since 2013, and his current term expires next year.

“The accusations that are against me are false, and I’m letting my lawyer and the system take care of it,” Anglea said Friday to a Portland Press Herald reporter. “I expect to continue serving. I have been charged. In the United States, you are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.”

Biddeford Superintendent of Schools Jeremy Ray said in a brief email on Tuesday that he was unable to comment on the matter as School Committee members are his bosses and it would be inappropriate for him to comment on pending charges. He said the School Department is investigating the matter.

“We are still gathering facts, looking at policies, and looking at the charter,” Ray said.

All School Committee members are expected to adhere to the School Committee Code of Ethics, which states that School Committee members will not make disparaging remarks, in or out of School Committee meetings, about other School Committee members or their opinions.

According to city charter, a vacancy on the School Committee can occur if a School Committee member is convicted of a felony while in office, dies, resigns, moves out of the city, employed by the city or School Department or is recalled. However, according to the charter, the recall of a School Committee or City Council member must be made by the voters of Biddeford.

“The charges against Anglea stem from the account of a 47-year-old woman who told Biddeford Police on April 24 that Anglea had assaulted her in an upstairs room at 25 Alfred St. on April 21.

According to an affidavit filed by Biddeford Police Officer Shara Mike Guzelian, she and Anglea, who had known each other for a couple of years, ran into each other in downtown Biddeford on the night of April 21.

The woman said Anglea bought alcohol and the two went by flashlight up two flights of stairs to an unlit room in a property that he manages.

“She and Anglea were socializing for about 15 minutes when Anglea “snapped,” and whipped her around the room while grabbing her hair, she told police. She alleges that Anglea took off her clothes, grabbed her breasts and while she lay naked on the floor hit her on the chest as he said “I could kill you. He also grabbed her wrists and hit her head against the floor, she said.

Anglea allegedly put his hands around her throat for about a minute and called her “whore” and other names, she told police.

The woman revealed bruises on her chest and a small laceration in the center of her back, which appeared to be consistent with being dragged on the ground, according to Guzelian.

Anglea denied assaulting the woman and said the only time he put his hand on her was when he grabbed her left arm and led her down the stairs because she was intoxicated.

The woman had been ranting about an ex-boyfriend and her current boyfriend, Anglea told police. He said he then bought her drinks and he took her inside a building he managed because he didn’t want her drinking in public.

Anglea said the two talked for about 30 or 40 minutes, and she wanted to continue socializing, but he had to leave for an errand, according to the affidavit.

Anglea told police the alleged victim may have accused him of assault because she asked him for money and he didn’t give her any, and she knew he had given money to many other people, according to the affidavit.

— Staff Writer Liz Gotthelf can be contacted at 282-1535, ext. 325 or [email protected]

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