September 19, 2013

Two years after charges at fair, Clinton woman cleared of resisting arrest, violating protection order

By Betty Adams
Staff Writer

AUGUSTA — A jury in Kennebec County Superior Court cleared a Clinton woman of charges that originated two years ago at the Clinton Lions Club Fair.

Dannielle D. Douglass, 41, was found not guilty last week after a two-day trial of violating a protection-from-harassment order and refusing to submit to arrest or detention.

“Frankly, this incident is part of a long custody battle,” said Douglass’s attorney, Dale Thistle.

He said the incident occurred Sept. 9, 2011, as Douglass was camping with a number of people and the alleged victim was on the exit road.

“The jury found that the violation never occurred, and they found that she didn’t resist arrest,” he said.

The prosecutor, Assistant District Attorney Frayla Schoenfeld, said the decision disappointed her. However, she said, “I have to respect the jury’s decision.”

Douglass also said she was injured while arrested, and her attorney served a notice that a lawsuit might be filed against the town of Clinton, the police chief and two police officers. That resulted in the town investigating the incident.

“I think emotionally she was permanently injured,” Thistle said Thursday, adding that his client’s physical injuries weren’t permanent.

Thistle said the notice had to be filed within 180 days of the incident, and while there is a two-year window to file a lawsuit in state court, a longer filing period is available in federal court.

As a result of the notice, the town investigated allegations that officers used unnecessary force on Douglass, and two officers placed on paid administrative leave during the investigation returned to work shortly afterward.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

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