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PR: Penobscot Co. Woman Says Prosecutor Mary Kellett Employed Threats and ‘Bald-Faced Lie’ to Induce Testimony

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Contact: Teri Stoddard
Telephone: 301-801-0608

Penobscot Co. Woman Says Prosecutor Mary Kellett Employed Threats and ‘Bald-Faced Lie’ to Induce Testimony

WASHINGTON / February 6, 2013 – A Penobscot County woman has accused assistant district attorney Mary Kellett of lying in order to coerce her to testify in a domestic assault case. Michelle Sayasane has claimed that Kellett falsely represented that Sayasane’s husband, Keo, had murdered a previous wife as a legal tactic to coerce Sayasane to become a cooperative witness.

According to an August 18, 2011 article in the Bangor Daily News, Justice Kevin Cuddy learned that ADA Kellett told Mrs. Sayasane that her husband had been convicted in the 1987 stabbing death of his former wife. Kellett claimed the source of the information was deputy attorney general William Stokes, head of the Attorney General Office’s criminal division:

But Kellett’s statement appears to have been false. “Stokes said he never provided any information to Kellett that indicated that the victim in the manslaughter case was Sayasane’s previous wife, or even that the victim was a woman,” according the Bangor Daily News account.

In an article published earlier this week, Mrs. Sayasane revealed the reasons behind her reluctance: her husband “needed counseling, not jail, and I was not going to be a part of putting him there:” Kellett responded by threatening to have Child Protective Services remove their children, according to Sayasane.

Finally, Sayasane relented and agreed to cooperate with the prosecution, even though Kellett allegedly caused “massive emotional distress on me and my entire family.”

“In December, a special panel ruled that prosecutor Mary Kellett violated seven ethical rules and recommended her license be suspended,” explains SAVE spokesman Steve Blake. “Michelle Sayasane’s latest account of prosecutor bullying and dishonesty reinforces the need for prompt action.”

Sayasane says she plans to file a complaint against Kellett with the Maine Board of Overseers of the Bar for witness tampering.

Stop Abusive and Violent Environments is a victim-advocacy organization working for evidence-based solutions to domestic violence and sexual assault: