By Steve Sherlock, Sun Journal
AUBURN — A Jay man and his minor children have filed a notice of claim seeking $5 million in damages against former Oxford County Sheriff Wayne Gallant and 17 other individuals and government or law enforcement agencies.
Michael C. Marks claims Gallant, “in his individual and representative capacities, sexually assaulted (Marks), and continues to harass, torture and to solicit the Claimant for sexual contact.”
According to the notice, the alleged incidents began in 1999 and continued into March of this year.
Marks and his children are represented by lawyers Amy L. Fairchild of Lyman and Timothy E. Zerillo of Portland.
In addition to Gallant, notices of claim, dated March 9, were sent to: the Oxford County Sheriff’s Office; the Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Office; police departments in Mexico, Wilton and Rumford; Androscoggin County; the Androscoggin County Jail; the Androscoggin County commissioners office; Oxford County Commissioner Steven Merrill; the Oxford County Clerk; the city of Auburn; former Auburn Mayor Jonathan LaBonte; Maine State Police; the Maine Department of Corrections; the Maine Department of Probation; the Maine Office of Policy and Management; and the Maine Attorney General’s Office.
The notice claims the above-named individuals or agencies were aware of Gallant’s actions.
According to the notice, “State entities and individuals known and unknown brought false charges against Claimant in order to control and intimidate him, as well as create opportunities for individuals and entities to interfere with Claimant’s marital relationship.”
The notices also includes allegation that the agencies “worked in concert and conspired” to violate Marks’ civil rights and caused him “irreparable harm and damage,” and allegedly conspired “to maliciously prosecute him, wrongfully convict him, to segregate and control him in prison.”
It further claims that the actions interfered with Marks’ relationship with his wife and children.
Marks is seeking damages for “severe emotional distress, mental anguish, pain and suffering, reputational injuries, wrongful incarceration, wrongful imprisonment, criminal restraint, violations of civil rights, impairment to relationship with children and spouse.”
Androscoggin County Administrator Larry Post acknowledged receiving the notice of claim, but said he is baffled why his county is included. Gallant has never worked for Androscoggin County.
Marks has spent time at Androscoggin County Jail, Post said, but the administrator said he is not aware of any issues.
“It looks as though they’re throwing spaghetti at the refrigerator door and hoping something sticks,” Post said.
Gallant could not be reached for comment.