AUGUSTA — The former maintenance supervisor for Kennebec County, charged with sexually assaulting a female jail inmate, pleaded no contest Thursday to charges of unlawful sexual touching and assault, and was sentenced to five months in jail.

James Saucier

Three felony counts of gross sexual assault against James Saucier, 60, of Belgrade were dismissed as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors. Instead, Saucier was charged with two misdemeanors of unlawful sexual touching and assault.

The unlawful sexual touching charge stipulated Saucier subjected a female inmate at the Kennebec County Correctional Facility to sexual touching on or between Feb. 15 and March 1, 2020.

At the time, Saucier was supervising the woman as part of the jail’s “trusty” program, in which inmates do work for the county or certain organizations.

Saucier’s plea of no contest has the same effect as a guilty plea. Superior Court Justice Michaela Murphy sentenced him to five months in jail and ordered he pay a $500 fine on the unlawful sexual touching charge, and a concurrent 364 days in jail — but with all 364 days suspended — on the assault charge.

The sentence means Saucier will likely spend five months in jail, as long as he complies with the terms of his yearlong probation.


Walter McKee of Augusta, Saucier’s defense lawyer, said Saucier will serve his sentence at the Somerset County Jail in Madison, not the Kennebec County jail, where Saucier has had contact with inmates through his job.

The old Kennebec County Courthouse in Augusta, photographed in March 2020. James Saucier, 60, a former maintenance supervisor for Kennebec County, has pleaded no contest to charges he sexually assaulted a female inmate under his supervision in early 2020. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal file

The plea agreement was reached following a settlement conference between the prosecution and the defense.

Prosecutor Michael Madigan, an assistant district attorney, said the victim in the case, who did not attend Thursday’s court hearing, was notified in person of the proposed plea agreement and supported the decision.

“She is in support of this agreement and understands how we got to this point,” Madigan told Murphy in court.

Asked by Murphy if the victim had expressed she did not want the case to go forward with a trial, Madigan said: “Yes. It’s more complex than that, but that is a very concise statement that is accurate.”

The victim would have likely been expected to testify had the case gone to trial.


Madigan said after Saucier was indicted, certain information and evidence prompted the state to evaluate the risk of going to trial. Prosecutors realized the two sides could come to a mutually satisfactory result with the plea deal.

“Trying this case would have placed an undue burden on the victim,” said Maeghan Maloney, district attorney for Kennebec and Somerset counties. “Coming to a resolution that the victim found satisfactory and held the defendant accountable was the best outcome for everyone.”

McKee, meanwhile, said the credibility of the state’s primary witness had been called into question.

“After Jim (Saucier) was indicted, the state was provided with evidence that substantially changed their view as to the provability of their case,” McKee said. “I cannot disclose those details, but suffice to say they seriously undercut that credibility of the state’s primary witness.”

Kennebec County officials placed Saucier on paid and then unpaid suspension from his job as maintenance supervisor after he was arrested in February 2021.

Scott Ferguson, administrator for Kennebec County, said Saucier’s job status with the county is currently “inactive,” and county officials, including Ferguson, human resources officials and the Kennebec County Commissioners, would make a decision on Saucier’s employment status when they receive all the information on the verdict in the criminal case.


Ferguson said Saucier’s job has been filled, and it is unlikely the county will retain Saucier as an employee.

McKee said Saucier will not pursue his former position with the county.

“He is not planning on seeking his job back,” McKee said, “and has moved on to other work in the private sector.”

Saucier was accused of having sexually assaulted the victim while she was in custody at the Kennebec County jail and assigned to work for Saucier through the jail’s “trusty” program, according to the victim’s statements in a police affidavit filed by Detective Michael Unterkoefler of the Augusta Police Department.

“Trusties” are inmates who are allowed to do maintenance work. First, they are allowed to work inside, and can later be authorized to work outside the Kennebec County Correctional Facility, with supervision of correctional staff members and a maintenance supervisor, also classified as a supervisor of the “trusties.”

In this case, Saucier was classified as a supervisor of “trusties,” according to the affidavit.


Ferguson said the county’s “trusty” program is still active, and the number of inmates participating in it fluctuates.

Ferguson said the county made changes to the “trusty” program after Saucier’s arrest to ensure a similar incident does not happen again. He said preventative measures include cameras, policy changes and moving the maintenance supervisor’s office from its former location.

According to the victim, Saucier initiated the assaults at his office, in the basement of the former Kennebec County Courthouse at 95 State St. in Augusta. The woman first told a jail corrections officer about the allegations.

The victim told Augusta police Saucier asked if he could touch her while she was at his office. She said she was thinking: “Do I fight this, do I not fight this? Do I just put on a facade? And I did.” She told Augusta police she did not say yes or no when Saucier asked if he could touch her.

About a week after that, the victim told police she went to Saucier’s basement office and he sexually assaulted her. The woman told police that during her second meeting with Saucier, he said, “You want to jump my bones, don’t you?”

She told police she was shocked by Saucier’s comment, but as an inmate who relied on Saucier for her “trusty” job, she did not know how to react.


When interviewed by police, Saucier “continually denied having any sexual relations with any female trusties and was adamant that the accusations were false,” the affidavit reads. “Saucier stated, ‘It doesn’t matter. If I say that something happened, I’m still just as guilty because I’m in a position of power.’ Saucier advised he had nothing to say because he didn’t do anything. Saucier continued to deny the allegations for the remainder of the interview.”

Saucier had no previous criminal record.

Murphy said in court she knew Saucier professionally through having worked at the Kennebec County Courthouse, but Madigan and McKee both said they did not believe she needed to recuse herself from Thursday’s court hearing.

Saucier’s probation conditions include he have no contact with the victim or female inmates, other than incidental contact, while he is incarcerated.

The agreement also stipulates sex offender counseling will not be required.

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