AUGUSTA — A judge denied a former Kennebec County deputy sheriff’s request Wednesday that his bail be reduced from $100,000 after he was jailed on 15 charges alleging he abused and sexually assaulted his wife.

Daniel Ross, 29, of West Gardiner was indicted in October on the 15 counts, the most serious being a Class A felony-level charge of gross sexual assault.

Releasing Ross on anything less than the previously set $100,000 cash bail amount would increase his chances of being released while awaiting trial, risking the possibility he would repeat the alleged actions that led to his arrest, said Maeghan Maloney, district attorney for Kennebec and Somerset counties.

Daniel Ross Somerset County Sheriff’s Office

Ross was asking his bail be reduced to $5,000.

Maloney said reducing Ross’ bail would also put the lives of law enforcement officers at risk, because the allegations against Ross include he was twice prepared to take part in a shootout with police as a way to end his own life to avoid being taken into custody.

Maloney said the victim in the case, Ross’ wife, was not the one who initially reported his alleged criminal acts against her (a friend did so), because she was afraid the criminal justice system would protect him as a sheriff’s deputy.


“The grand jury found on two occasions he was prepared to end his own life in a shootout, rather than be taken into custody,” Maloney said, saying that showed it would be a great risk to release Ross from custody. “This case involves systematic power and control. Former Deputy Dan Ross is the face of the criminal justice system. His victim was too afraid the system would protect him, a police officer, instead of her. Anything less than $100,000 (bail) allows him to repeat his conduct.”

Ross’ lawyer, Zachary Fey, argued for bail to be reduced to $5,000, and for Ross to be placed under house arrest at his mother’s house in Gardiner, where he would also be electronically monitored.

Fey said Ross has no criminal record, strong family support, vehemently maintains his innocence, served his state and community in his law enforcement role, served his country in the military in Afghanistan and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Judge Sean Ociepka kept Ross’ bail at $100,000 cash, saying it was appropriate given the circumstances of the case, and reducing the bail could pose risks to the alleged victim and others in the community.

Ross was arrested in August when Maine State Police initially charged him with nine counts, including domestic violence assault, domestic violence criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon and unlawful sexual contact.

He was arrested while at work, after he admitted to the allegations against him, officials said.


Ross began working for the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office on March 16, 2021. During his time with the department, Ross received a written reprimand for violating the county’s COVID-19 policy, but faced no other disciplinary actions, according to the sheriff.

Ross also worked for the Maine Capitol Police and Gardiner Police Department, and was not subject to disciplinary action during his employment with those agencies.

A Kennebec County grand jury indicted Ross in October on 15 charges, with the additional charges including gross sexual assault — a Class A offense punishable by up to 30 years in prison — and domestic violence terrorizing with a dangerous weapon, and accused him of assaulting his wife and threatening her with a firearm, knife and stun gun.

The Kennebec Journal’s policy is not to name alleged victims of sexual assault. However, the newspaper is describing Ross’ relationship to the alleged victim and another family member to clarify that those impacted by his reported behavior were not random members of the public.

An indictment is not a determination of guilt, but indicates enough evidence exists for a case to move forward to trial.

Ross, who was initially placed on paid administrative leave after the allegations, has since been fired by the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office, according to Lt. Chris Read, a spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office.

The charges stemmed from incidents are alleged to have occurred over several months this year at a house in West Gardiner.

Ross remains incarcerated at the Somerset County Jail in Madison, according to jail records. He and his lawyer appeared through Zoom on Wednesday at the Capital Judicial Center in Augusta, during which Ross pleaded not guilty to all of the charges.

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