Police probe alleged incest

PLEASANTVILLE – A Bedford County man faces dozens of charges, including child rape, sexual assault and indecent assault charges amid allegations of a complex incestuous relationship involving several family members.

Richard Lemoune Maine, 78, of 176 Hemlock Lane, Lincoln Township, is accused of repeatedly raping two female relatives starting when they were 8 to 10 years old. The alleged assaults on one relative continued until she was 15, police said.

“He denies anything happened,” Maine’s court-appointed attorney, Mark Zearfaus of Altoona, said Thursday. Zearfaus said Maine will likely seek a jury trial after he waived a preliminary hearing Wednesday.

Police said a yearlong investigation, initiated after a Children and Youth Services report, revealed that Maine had raped the girls as often as twice a week in his truck, his home and a nearby barn.

Maine allegedly waited until the girls’ mother was not at home before initiating sexual contact.

One girl allegedly told investigators she asked Maine to stop, to no avail.

The alleged abuse ended, she said, only when she threatened to tell her mother.

Police said the accusations came to light last year when one of the girls – by then aged 17 and in a consensual sexual relationship with another relative, aged 35 – emailed another female family member about the abuse.

Under police questioning, the girl said her mother knew that she and the 35-year-old man were having sex, and said at one point the 35-year-old man had texted her mother for permission for them to have sex, and the mother agreed. The girl further stated the 35-year-old man and her mother also had sex.

The 35-year-old, identified by Zearfaus as Maine’s grandson, allegedly confronted Maine’s wife about the allegations.

Maine’s wife later told police that she considered the allegations unbelievable but kicked her husband out of their house nonetheless after hearing them.

During a 2012 interview with state police, Maine allegedly called the accusations “a bunch of malarkey” and said a medication regimen had left him incapable of sex for years.

Maine, originally from West Virginia, allegedly described himself to police as a former alcoholic whose children in his home state were taken away after they were found starving and lice-ridden.

State police arrested Maine on Feb. 20. He was arraigned on 32 charges, 27 of them felonies, including multiple counts of incest and rape.

He remains in Bedford County Prison in lieu of $250,000 bail. Maine waived his right to a preliminary hearing Wednesday at Bedford County Central Court.

“He’ll probably take it to trial,” Zearfaus said.

Zearfaus said Maine’s advanced age will likely play a role at trial. No court date has been assigned or set, he said.