Oct. 13—FARMINGTON — A Franklin County justice found a Wilton man guilty Tuesday of two counts of aggravated assault against a woman in June 2019 on Welch Road in Wilton.
Jason L. Baker Sr., 47, who pleaded no contest to two charges of aggravated assault, was sentenced to a total of 15 years in prison, with all but four years suspended, followed by eight years of probation. The plea means he did not admit or deny the charges.
In the negotiated plea agreement, a kidnapping charge and two counts of gross sexual assault were dismissed. A conviction for kidnapping is punishable by up to 30 years in prison; a conviction for gross sexual assault is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
"By law, I have to and will find you guilty," Justice Robert Mullen explained to Baker in a Farmington court.
Deputy District Attorney James Andrews gave the court a summary of what would have been presented if the case went to trial.
He said Baker and the woman had an off-and-on sexual relationship. She went to Baker's house over four days and he struck her with either a bat or his fist in the back of her head, knocking her unconscious.
Andrews said the woman would have testified that Baker sexually and physically assaulted her and choked her with his hand or bat, causing her to vomit. When she awoke her hands and feet were restrained with rope and tape, and he used a steak knife to make light scratches on her body. She was able to escape when Baker left the house.
Wilton police responded to a report of a woman running down the road with her hands tied behind her back.
Baker has no felony convictions, Andrews said.
The District Attorney's Office and the woman's father have been trying throughout the process to get her assistance for a "very severe and substance abuse disorder," Andrews said. If the case went into a third year, there would be issues with the woman's availability and possibility credibility, he said.
Defense attorney Scott Hess echoed Andrews' point about substance abuse. He also noted that the woman did not initially cooperate in the case.
Justice Mullen said if the state could produce a witness who testified, Baker would be looking at a significantly longer sentence.
He sentenced Baker on one count of aggravated assault to 10 years to the Maine Department of Corrections, with all but four years suspended, and four years of probation. On the second count, Baker was sentenced to a consecutive five years in prison, all suspended, and four years of probation.
"This is a sentence that doesn't make anyone particularly happy," Mullen said.