LEWISTON — An Auburn police officer on Monday denied a misdemeanor domestic violence assault charge of choking a woman and bloodying her nose over the weekend.

Stephen Easley Jr., 31, appeared in 8th District Court by videoconference from Androscoggin County Jail in Auburn, where he had been held without bail since his arrest early Sunday morning.

Justice Harold Stewart II set bail at $500 cash or $250 cash with supervised release. Bail conditions would prohibit Easley from having or using alcohol or illegal drugs. He is also barred from possessing any dangerous weapons or firearms for which he can be searched at random, and may not have any contact with two named witnesses in the case.

An attorney was appointed to represent him.

Local police officer Ahmed Kaviro wrote that a woman said he choked her after she grabbed his cellphone and ran to the bedroom of an apartment on Webster Street.

She said he chased her, held her down on the bed and used both hands to choke her, according to the affidavit. Kaviro wrote that he observed red marks on the woman’s face and neck. She told police she had cleaned blood from her nose.


She said it wasn’t the first time the two had argued, but it was the first time he had hurt her and choked her during an altercation, according to the affidavit.

Easley denied harming the woman, according to the affidavit. He said she’d been upset because she believed he had cheated on her and then attacked him.

Easley told police the woman had hit him “a few times,” but he wasn’t pursuing charges. Police observed minor cuts to the side of his head and one of his eyes.

He told officers he was drunk, according to the affidavit. Asked whether he had hit the woman, Easley said: “No, never. I would never.” He said he’d been in law enforcement since 2002 and knew better than to “lay hands on her.”

The woman told police the two had been out drinking with friends that night and had started arguing on their way to the apartment. When they’d arrived, she had gone in first, found Easley’s cellphone and saw deleted emails “about some girls,” she said. When she confronted him about it, they argued and he started chasing her, she said.

In his affidavit, Kaviro wrote: “I believe he did, in fact, assault and strangle” the woman.

Kennebec County Assistant District Attorney Shannon Flaherty said her office has concerns about Easley’s ties to Maine because the status of his job as an Auburn police officer is in question since his arrest and he has children who live in a different state.

Easley, who is from Loranger, Louisiana, started working as an officer in Auburn a few months ago.

Deputy Police Chief Timothy Cougle of the Auburn Police Department said Easley had been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation into the incident.

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