Police Say They Have Gleason Admission on Tape

Morning Sentinel
December 26, 2007

SKOWHEGAN — Police taped a phone conversation in which Carrabec High School administrator and church pastor Frank "Skip" Gleason admitted to sexual contact with a 15-year-old male student, according to an affidavit filed in Skowhegan District Court.

Gleason, 60, is free on $1,500 cash bail on charges of unlawful sexual conduct and sexual abuse of a minor. The Anson resident is scheduled to make his first court appearance Jan. 23 in connection with the charges.

School Administrative District 74 has placed the Carrabec assistant principal and athletic director on administrative leave, and he has stepped down from his position as pastor of Maranatha Assembly in Anson.

Lt. Carl E. Gottardi II, a Somerset County Sheriff's Department detective, filed the affidavit. Gottardi obtained an arrest warrant for Gleason on Dec. 22.

The document details that, earlier that day, police recorded the boy calling Gleason at his home. Gottardi was present during the call, made to Gleason's cell phone.

During the phone conversation, Gleason admitted "in part and substance" to touching the boy's penis, but said he did not want the boy to tell anyone, the affidavit states. Gleason went on to tell the boy he thought he was "good-looking," that he really cared about him and that he probably should not have touched him.

The incident allegedly occurred on the night of Dec. 21, as Gleason gave the boy a ride home following a Carrabec basketball game.

According to the affidavit, Gleason, driving a pickup truck, picked the boy up at home so the boy could help him set the gym up for the game. Following the game, Gleason gave him a ride back home, and the two were alone.

Gleason then pulled the boy toward him, hugged him, called him his "buddy" and briefly placed his hand on the boy's leg, the affidavit states. Gleason then began talking about the hair on the boy's "tummy," and asked the boy if he could rub it. The startled boy did not reply, nor did he know what to do, the court document states.

According to the affidavit, the boy said Gleason then touched and fondled him.

Once in the boy's yard, Gleason reportedly told the boy they could take a longer route the next time he gave him a ride home.

The next day, the boy's mother reported the incident to the sheriff's office. Later in the day, the boy and his father met with Gottardi.

Gleason has worked closely with the area's youth for more than three decades. He was the town's recreation director, and then a coach prior to becoming assistant principal and athletic director.

Following his release from jail on Sunday, Gleason resigned his position as pastor of the Maranatha Assembly on Church Street in Anson.

Since news of the arrest became public, many members of the community have defended Gleason as a good man with a history of public service.

The affidavit was made available briefly Wednesday morning. About an hour later, Judge Charles LaVerdiere approved a motion by the district attorney's office to impound the document.

The motion to impound states that an ongoing investigation exists and early publication of the information would make it difficult to impanel a jury.

"We sought impoundment in order to minimize the level of pretrial publicity associated with this case," District Attorney Evert Fowle said later in the day.

Because the charges are misdemeanors, the case likely will not go to the grand jury, according to Fowle. A hearing could be held as early as six weeks from the Jan. 23 arraignment if the case remains in Skowhegan District Court, he said. If it is transferred to Somerset Superior Court, a hearing would be held later in the year, he said.


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