DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — A former teacher and tennis coach at Penquis Valley High School will serve nine months in prison after pleading guilty to the sexual assault of a former student.
Herbert "Russell" Carey Jr., 70, was sentenced to three years with all but nine months and a day suspended as part of an agreement with the Piscataquis County District Attorney's office in which Carey pleaded guilty.
District Court Judge Patrick Larson sentenced Carey on Monday in Piscataquis County Superior Court.
Piscataquis County Assistant District Attorney Chris Almy said the additional day means Carey will have to spend the time in a state facility instead of the county jail.
Almy said at the sentencing that Carey sexually assaulted the female student, who was 16 and 17 at the time, on and off school property between April 2015 and 2016.
An investigation began after the young woman reported the assaults in May of this year. Carey was arrested on Aug. 10 by the Piscataquis County Sheriff's Office and charged with sexual assault.
After the sentencing, Carey’s defense attorney Stephen Smith said, “He is a good and honorable man. He’s 70 years old. He spent decades in this community doing a lot of good and he acknowledges his wrongdoing and he doesn’t wish it to define himself and he doesn’t wish it to define his victim.”
Carey was taken into custody immediately following the sentencing
“This defendant really took advantage of his position and he not only, as a teacher, affected the victim but you know think about other teachers,” Almy said. “There are a lot of good teachers in our communities. They work hard and this defendant has not only damaged his immediate victim but he’s damaged the reputation of teachers as well, which is really unfortunate."
Upon his release from prison, Carey will be on probation for two years with the additional conditions of having to attend sex offender counseling and no contact with children under the age of 18.
If you or someone you know needs a resource or support related to sexual violence, contact the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault’s 24/7 hotline at 800-871-7741.