BANGOR – The trial for Matthew Cook, a former swim instructor at the Bangor YMCA, got underway Thursday.
Cook is charged with unlawful sexual touching of an 18-year-old woman.
“Sexual touching is very specific in the law. It’s the touching of the breast, butt and it’s touching as you would imagine,” said Jeffrey Toothaker, who is representing Matthew Cook.
“What they’re going on is one event in a car on the 18th of March 2018,” he said.
The victim took the stand and said she was an assistant swim coach for the team Cook was coaching. Cook was also her former swim coach.
On the weekend of March 16, 2018, the victim said the team was traveling to Bowdoin College for a swim meet.
“What this case is really about is a violation of trust, an abuse of power, in what the defendant, Matthew Cook, did to a young woman, an 18-year-old on their way back to a swim meet while she was trapped with him in a car on I-95,” Assistant District Attorney Joshua Saucier said.
State and defense attorneys questioned the 18-year-old Thursday.
On the stand, the victim said on the drive back to Bangor, Cook put his hand on her lower thigh trying to move it further up her leg.
She said at other points cook tried to touch her buttocks, tried to get her to take her jacket off, and put his hand on her breast.
“The focus here isn’t whether he intentionally touched her. It’s whether he had permission or thought he had permission,” Toothaker said.
The trial will continue Friday morning.