BANGOR, Maine — After one night in jail, Penobscot County Treasurer and one of the Bangor school committee members John Hiatt is home. He was arrested late last Friday and is now free on a $5,000 cash bail.
According to an eight-page arrest warrant affidavit, the Bangor Police Department charged the 35-year-old on five counts following its 10-day investigation.
- One count of aggravated criminal invasion of computer privacy
- One count of stalking
- One count of theft by unauthorized taking
Two counts of harassment
Hiatt's attorney Harris Mattson of Silverstein Law in Bangor said his client is a person with autism, "and for that reason, he sometimes has a hard time understanding the behavior and comments of other people, and likewise I think some people have a hard time understanding his conduct and his statements."
Mattson claims Hiatt had a dispute with a close friend who mistreated him physically and emotionally which led to a confrontation and several of the charges.
"Especially with regard to the felony charge, we think that there is little if any evidence to support that allegation, and it's based almost on speculation by the Bangor Police Department," Mattson said.
According to the Bangor Police Department's affidavit and warrant of arrest, Hiatt stole a person's phone and used her social media accounts to send messages to other people without her consent. He allegedly changed the password of one of her social media accounts and sent out the owner's private videos. The documents state he also harassed several other women connected to the main victim, including a teen.
The affidavit also says Hiatt told Bangor police officers that he was sexually assaulted by one of the victims who accused him of the crimes.
The Bangor School Department's interim superintendent Kathy Harris-Smedberg said Hiatt is innocent until proven guilty.
"They would have to go through the process, and we need to determine whether they are in fact guilty of what they are being charged with or not," said Harris-Smedberg.
Harris-Smedberg said the school department is fully cooperating with the investigation and appropriate actions will be taken at its conclusion.
Carin Sychterz is the Bangor school committee chair. She added that the school department will internally investigate any of the allegations relating to the use of a Bangor school department electronic device.
Hiatt has a court date in July and his attorney said Hyatt will be pleading "not guilty."
NEWS CENTER Maine reached out to the Penobscot County Commissioners but received no comment back.