BEDFORD - A Bedford County man accused of raping two young relatives in a complex web of incest is set for a trial this month, according to court documents.
Docket sheets show a Tuesday jury selection and March 18 trial date for Richard Lemoune Maine, 79, who faces at least 24 felony charges for repeatedly assaulting two girls when they were 8 to 10 years old.
Maine's court-appointed attorney, Mark Zearfaus of Altoona, said Thursday he's confident that inconsistencies in the alleged victims' stories will confirm Maine's innocence.
The girls, now teenagers, told police Maine assaulted them at their home, a barn and in his pickup truck when his wife was away. The alleged assaults continued periodically until one girl was 15, police said.
The case first came to state police investigators' attention in early 2012, when Bedford County Children and Youth Services officials forwarded a complaint from one of Maine's adult relatives. The accusers said Maine had abused the girls, then threatened them to keep quiet while his wife allegedly urged them to lie.
The accusations became tied up in a complex family dispute, with one of the alleged victims carrying on a relationship with a much older man - technically her nephew - who also allegedly had a sexual relationship with the girl's mother.
According to the woman who first accused Maine, the victims were home-schooled at Maine's house in a Blue Knob-area hollow and "never go outside."
During a police interview in 2012, Maine allegedly told state troopers the accusations were "a bunch of malarkey," noting that a medication regimen had left him incapable of sex for years.
Originally from West Virginia, he said his earlier children there had been taken away after authorities allegedly found them starving and lice-ridden.
Maine remains in Bedford County Jail, where he has been held since early 2013 in lieu of $250,000 bail.