August 16, 2013

Staff file photo by Andy Molloy

Matt Dineen

Former Gardiner teacher, coach faces new criminal charges

By Michael Shepherd
Staff Writer

A former Gardiner teacher and coach with a well-publicized criminal history was arrested earlier this month after an alleged domestic-violence incident in Oxford County.

In an email, Oxford County Sheriff Wayne Gallant said Matthew B. Dineen, 44, of Gardiner, was arrested and charged with domestic-violence assault and domestic-violence terrorizing after an Aug. 9 incident in Hartford, 25 miles north of Lewiston.

Dineen has had protection-from-abuse orders against him in the past, but Gallant said the victim in this case was not a protected person.

Gallant said Dineen initially fled the scene of the incident, but he turned himself in to authorities on Aug. 10. A county jail official said he posted $100 cash bail that day, and Gallant said that came with conditions that prohibit contact with the victim and any potential witnesses.

Dineen's arraignment on the charges is scheduled for Sept. 12 at South Paris District Court, a court official said today.

In April 2010, the Kennebec Journal reported that Dineen, a teacher at Gardiner Area High School just before that time, turned himself into police after being accused of three misdemeanor counts of unlawful sexual touching, involving a 16-year-old high school student.

Around that time, Shelby Dineen, his then-wife, obtained a protection-from-abuse order against him on behalf of herself and their two children after allegations of "inappropriate texting and Facebook contact with a student." Her mother, Deborah P. Thibodeau, also obtained a protection-from-harassment order against Dineen.

Dineen landed in jail in August 2010 after Shelby Dineen called Augusta police to say her husband had telephoned her in violation of a court order.

That November, he pleaded no contest to the sexual touching charges and was sentenced to 364 days in jail under a plea deal, with all but 120 days suspended, with one year of probation.

Dineen taught at Gardiner Area High School for more than two years but was placed on administrative leave in February 2010.

Dineen was also the boys' hockey coach at Gardiner for several years and was named Kennebec Journal Hockey Coach of the Year in 2009. In fall 2008 and 2009, he was girls' varsity soccer coach. He taught at Carrie Ricker School in Litchfield before that.

Michael Shepherd — 621-5632

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