Lincoln County News | Newcastle, ME
Friday, April 17, 2015 Serving Maine and Lincoln County for over a century. Volume 140 Issue 16


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5/1/2014 4:00:00 PM
Boothbay Harbor Man Pleads Guilty to Stealing Drugs from Disabled Children
J.W. Oliver

A Boothbay Harbor man has pleaded guilty to stealing prescription stimulants from mentally disabled students while working as a custodian at Boothbay Region Elementary School.

Matthew L. Nault, 36, will serve 45 days in jail and a year of probation if he fulfills the terms of a court order that delays sentence for a year.

Nault confessed Nov. 3, 2013 to stealing drugs "on numerous occasions" from the classroom of special-education teacher Toby LeConte, according to a statement by School Resource Officer Lawrence Brown.

Nault also confessed to stealing a box containing $250 in cash. He told police he stole the box because he was "having financial problems," Brown said in his statement.

Nault, in a written confession, said he had "no excuse" for the thefts, but was "curious" about the drugs and has a "substance abuse problem," Brown said.

Nault apologized for the thefts, Brown said. Nault said he had not thought himself capable of the crimes and felt embarrassed and mortified by his behavior.

LeConte administers the medications to her students, according to Brown's statement.

The students' parents track the medications and bring more before the prescriptions run out, Brown said. Last fall, LeConte had to notify the parents of three students that their medication was almost out.

She eventually discovered she was missing nine amphetamine salts pills, 29 Metadate pills and 70 1/2 fast- and regular-acting methylphenidate pills. The stimulants, prescribed to three students, are used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

LeConte also reported the missing cash box, which she had concealed in a heating unit.

LeConte suspected Nault, a relatively new custodian with after-hours access to her classroom, Brown said. She subsequently used a school-issued iPad to secretly record him taking small items, such as drinks and snacks, from the classroom.

The school reported the theft of the drugs Nov. 1, 2013. Brown and Boothbay Harbor Police Chief Robert Hasch obtained a confession from Nault two days later.

Nault has not been employed at the school since Nov. 2, 2013, according to paperwork on file at Lincoln County Superior Court. It was not clear whether he resigned or was terminated.

Rocky Channels School System Superintendent Eileen King, who oversees Boothbay Region Elementary School, did not respond to an interview request.

A Lincoln County grand jury indicted Nault Dec. 11, 2013 on charges of Class C stealing drugs, a felony; and Class D theft by unauthorized taking, a misdemeanor. Nault pleaded guilty to those charges Wednesday, April 23.

A court order delays sentence for a year and requires Nault to abide by several conditions.

He has to complete a substance abuse evaluation and enter counseling if the evaluation recommends it. He is subject to random searches and tests for alcohol and illegal drugs.

He has to pay $618 to compensate the victims of the theft, and he cannot return to Boothbay Region Elementary School.

If Nault abides by these conditions, does not commit any new crimes, and follows other standard conditions, the state will reduce the felony charge to a misdemeanor.

He would be sentenced to 364 days in jail with all but 45 days suspended and a year of probation, with a concurrent 30-day sentence for the misdemeanor theft charge.

He would continue to be subject to substance abuse conditions while on probation.

Nault will return to Lincoln County Superior Court for a hearing to determine the outcome of the case at 8:30 a.m., Thursday, April 30, 2015.

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