- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 19, 2015

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - Maine’s highest court is denying an appeal from a woman convicted of aiding her husband’s sexual abuse of a preteen girl.

Christal Gagnier appealed to the Supreme Judicial Court arguing that a lifetime of physical and sexual abuse from husband Michael Gagnier produced a climate of fear that rendered her incapable of helping the victim.

The court ruled on Tuesday that Gagnier needed to provide evidence that she was faced with a threat of “immediate harm.” The ruling says no evidence of such a threat was presented during trial.

Gagnier was sentenced to three years in prison last June. Prosecutors charged that she gave the victim an antibiotic to treat a sexually transmitted disease and hid evidence of repeated sexual assaults. Michael Gagnier was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

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