Maine State Police have arrested a Gouldsboro man in connection with the sexual assault of a woman 26 years ago.

Advancements in DNA technology and genetic genealogy led to the arrest of 56-year-old Jason Follette, of Gouldsboro, in the cold case, according to Shannon Moss, spokesperson for the Maine Department of Public Safety.

Follette was arrested by state police detectives Wednesday without incident at a pier in Gouldsboro, Moss said. He has been charged with one count of gross sexual assault and is being held at the Hancock County Jail in Ellsworth. Other charges may be filed.

It was unclear Wednesday evening whether Follette had retained an attorney.

The victim, who is now 47, was sexually assaulted in her apartment in the town of Hancock on Aug. 11, 1996, police say. She was 21 years old at the time.

Hancock is a rural community near Ellsworth and Mt. Desert Island.


Evidence was collected from the apartment and processed, and a DNA profile confirmed she was attacked by an unknown man. On Aug. 2, 2002, detectives obtained an arrest warrant for a man identified only as “John Doe.” The suspect’s DNA sample was tested by Othram Inc., a company headquartered in Texas.

“This case has been an ongoing investigation since it was first reported in 1996,” Moss said in a statement. “The case would not have come to this conclusion without the help, hard work, and dedication of many agencies including the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office, Maine Marine Patrol, Hancock County District Attorney’s office, Maine State Police Troop J, the Maine State Police Crime Lab and the many state police detectives, who have worked on this case in years past.”

The Ellsworth American reported in February 2010 that Follette’s lobster boat, named Deduction, was partially destroyed in a fire while moored in Prospect Harbor. The early morning fire was believed to have been caused by a propane heater Follette had on board to thaw frozen hoses, the local fire chief said. The boat did not sink, but suffered significant damage.

According to the Ellsworth American, Follette also owned a shrimp dragger at the time of the fire called the Canadian Exchange.

The Maine State Bureau of Identification records indicate that Follette pled guilty in March 1985 to the misdemeanor offense of furnishing liquor to a minor. Follette, who would have been 19 at the time, was fined $100, according to state records.

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