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TIM ZERILLO GETS TWO GROSS SEXUAL ASSAULT CHARGES DISMISSED FOR A CLIENT WHO HAD BEEN SENTENCED TO 16 YEARS IN PRISON

HZW Shareholder Attorney Tim Zerillo recently had a wonderful result in a very serious case. Our client had been sentenced to 16 years in prison for two Class A Gross Sexual Assault charges. His case had been reversed by the Supreme Court and was set for retrial.

Our first goal was to get our Client out on bail. He had spent nearly 4 years in jail at that time. In June of 2015, after two previous denials of bail, he was released on bail.

Next, we tried to subpoena the alleged victim's medical and school records. As these records are privileged and protected by HIPPA and other confidentiality laws, the defense was forced to go through a series of contested hearings. The prosecutor and alleged victim objected to the subpoenas at every hearing. Ultimately, we prevailed and the Court Ordered the subpoenas.

The medical and school records reflected what the defense hoped for: that there were no medical issues noted contemporaneous to the alleged assault, and at the same time the child was functioning well at school. We began preparing for trial in earnest.

One business day before jury selection, Attorney Zerillo learned from the prosecutor that the alleged victim had given her new details about the alleged assault. Attorney Zerillo spent this past weekend drafting Motions to Dismiss and Motions to Recuse the Prosecutor, naming the prosecutor as a trial witness. He filed those motions at Jury Selection this Monday.

Attorney Zerillo and Attorney Daphne Hallett-Donahue were prepared for trial on our Client's behalf. However, the combination of our recently filed motions and our trial defenses created an opening for an extremely favorable resolution for our Client.

As a result, the Defense was offered a dismissal of both Gross Sexual Assault charges in exchange for a plea to Class E Disorderly Conduct. The Disorderly Conduct charge was for using offensive words or gestures.

In short, our Client has:

  1. No more jail, and the 16 year sentence is gone,

  2. No sex offender registration,

  3. No firearm prohibitions,

  4. No felonies, and

  5. No fine.


For the first time in a long time our Client is free from jail, free from bail conditions and just free in general. He has been through hell and has come out the other side - congratulations to him.

As a coda, many of you will find this result a horrible thing because of the nature of these charges. For you, I add the following fact: our Client passed two polygraph examinations, one of which was given by a local police department, which indicated that he did not commit the sexual assault alleged. Since polygraphs are inadmissible in Maine, and since the Prosecutor would not dismiss the case based on these polygraphs, the jury never would have known this fact. We would have vigorously tried the case regardless. 

. . .

The law firm of Hallett, Zerillo, and Whipple, P.A. are Maine attorneys representing clients who have been seriously injured, accused of crimes in state and federal court, have business litigation needs or family law and divorce cases. Various attorneys in the firm have been locally and nationally recognized for their achievements, including admission into New England Super Lawyers, the Client's Choice Award from AVVO.com, the President's Award from the Maine Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and membership in the selective National Academy of Family Lawyers. For more information on the firm, please visit www.HZWlaw.com.

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