BANGOR – Matthew Cook of Bangor was found not guilty Friday of unlawful sexual touching of an 18-year-old woman.
“He’s very happy it ended this way. He’s sorry the event ever occurred. He wants to get back on with life,” said Defense Attorney Jeffrey Toothaker.
The trial began Thursday at the Penobscot Judicial Center.
The woman who reported the crime was an assistant swim coach on Cook’s swim team.
She said Cook inappropriately touched her breast as they were driving back to Bangor from a swim meet at Bowdoin College in March 2018.
“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,” Assistant District Attorney Josh Saucier said.
In court on Friday, the CEO of the Bangor Region YMCA, an assistant coach from Cook’s team as well as Matthew Cook took the stand.
Cook said the alleged victim was typically flirty toward him and the 18-year old was being playful so he said he felt invited to do so.
“I asked her about her relationship with my client in the year and a half before this event occurred. I asked how she behaved. I asked how he behaved. I asked was there flirting. What was her answer? No,” said Toothaker.
“What did Chara tell you? Her best friend. Yes there was,” he said.
The woman who reported the crime said she didn’t tell Cook to stop that day in the car. She said she was afraid of what he would have done.
“‘Oh that’s my boob.’ And somehow that was decided that he could then touch her breast,” Saucier said.
After more than two hours, the jury made its decision.
“The victims understandably disappointed. But we respect the jury’s verdict. We thank the Maine State Police for their investigation. They did an excellent job,” Saucier said.