AUGUSTA — A former Kennebec County Sheriff’s deputy pleaded guilty to four counts of domestic violence criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon and was sentenced to three years in prison after making a plea deal with state prosecutors that dismissed 12 other charges he was facing.

Daniel Ross 

Daniel Ross, 31, of West Gardiner, was indicted on 16 domestic violence and sexual assault-related charges in October 2022, including a class A felony charge of gross sexual assault.

He was in court Thursday for jury selection for his trial scheduled later this month on those charges. Allegations against him included that he had threatened his then-wife several times over several months in 2022, including with a Taser, a knife and a firearm, and also threatened to shoot his sleeping, then-5-year-old daughter in the head and then turn the gun on himself.

Instead of selecting a jury, Ross took a plea deal that dismissed 12 of those charges and left him charged with four class C felony counts of domestic violence and criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon.

His sentence is for three years of unsuspended time in prison. However, his total sentences on those four charges total 15 years, with all but three of those years suspended, and eight years probation. If he violates the terms of his probation he could face the full, currently suspended sentence. If he complies with the terms of his probation, he’ll serve three years in prison, minus the approximately 19 months he already spent behind bars while awaiting trial.

Maeghan Maloney, district attorney for Kennebec and Somerset counties, said she believes Ross’ conduct warranted more time in prison but that would have required going to trial which she said would have re-traumatized the two victims in the case, one of them a young child. She said both the adult victim in the case and the mother of the child victim asked her to settle the case without a trial. The adult victim told her she wanted to shut the door and never have to think about what happened again.


“The victim did not want to have to talk about the worst moments in her life,” Maloney said Friday. “As we do in every single case, we take victim impact very seriously, but particularly in a case as personal as this one. Mr. Ross is now a multiple convicted felon who will never again work in law enforcement, never carry a firearm, and never return to the life he had before. The long period of probation and the multiple felony convictions convinces me that the public will be as safe as our system makes possible. This also brings finality without the uncertainty of a jury conviction followed by years of appeals.”

In Maine, people convicted of a felony are not allowed to possess firearms.

The Kennebec Journal’s policy is not to name alleged victims of sexual assault. However, the newspaper describes 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.

Darrick Banda, Ross’ attorney, said the plea and sentence were a fair resolution to the case. He said some “11th-hour” negotiations took place as a jury was about to be selected and they reached an agreement.

“In weighing the potential outcomes at trial we felt that, on balance, this result was a good result, a good negotiated result, given the risks of trial,” Banda said of why he and Ross took the plea deal. “And the state felt it was a good result given the risks they had at trial.”

The plea deal dismissed 12 counts, including the class A felony charge of gross sexual assault, which was punishable by up 30 years in prison.


Ross initially pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.

He was arrested in August 2022 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.

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.

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 previous attorney for Ross said, in court during a prior bail hearing, that Ross has no criminal record, strong family support, 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.

Related Headlines

Comments are not available on this story.