BANGOR — A former Old Town man facing sexual abuse charges involving a child waited more than a year for his trial, and afterward was set free.
In less than an hour, jurors returned a not guilty verdict for Bangor resident James Raines, who was charged with two counts of unlawful sexual touching involving a child under the age of 12.
“They weighed all the evidence and decided my client was not guilty and I believe that that’s the right decision in his case,” said Ezra Willey, attorney for Raines.
The girl who testified against Raines broke into tears when she heard the verdict and her grandmother said outside of the courthouse “what did this teach her?”
“We’re disappointed, obviously, but we trust the jury gave the matter full consideration,” said Assistant District Attorney Mark Rucci, who prosecuted the case.
“Cases involving allegations of sexual abuse against a child … are by far the hardest cases out there,” Willey said.
“These are tough cases and in our office we take them extremely seriously and will continue to do so going forward,” Rucci said, standing on the steps of the courthouse.
Raines, 59, was arrested in August 2019, shortly after he moved from Old Town to Bangor. He has spent the last 14 months in the Penobscot County Jail awaiting his trial.
Raines has a long criminal history, including a 17-year federal prison sentence for being a felon with a gun.
“Overwhelmed. He’s feeling overjoyed,” his attorney said. “He’s maintained his innocence from the outset.”
Willey added, “He is feeling vindicated. And he’s looking forward to taking these next steps in his life and moving on.”
After the trial ended, the mother of the child went downstairs to get a protection order to prevent Raines from contacting them.