By Associated Press - Thursday, April 29, 2021

An ex-Maine state police trooper pleaded guilty to domestic violence assault, though he was never disciplined after his ex-wife informed his supervisor of the abuse, according to call logs and reporting by the Portland Press Herald.

Justin “Jay” Cooley, 50, pleaded guilty to the charge Wednesday as prosecutors dropped two other charges related to domestic violence, the Portland Press Herald reported.

Superior Court Justice Valerie Stanfill gave Cooley a suspended sentence of almost one year and two years probation. She ordered him to attend a 48-week batterer’s intervention course, not to drink alcohol or use drugs and not to have contact with his ex-wife Amy Burns or her adult son.

In May 2019, Burns reported to Cooley’s supervisors that he had thrown a bottle at her and later that he had hit her. The supervisors did not immediately file charges, the newspaper found. Only after Burns showed a trooper a text message in which Cooley admitted to hitting her did the state police refer the case to an outside investigator who filed charges against him.

Cooley resigned from the force in January and was never disciplined. An investigation into potential misconduct by his supervisors was inconclusive and they were also not disciplined, the newspaper reported.

The Associated Press does not identify victims of abuse unless they come forward publicly.

Stanfill said that Cooley’s 22 years of service as a trooper were an aggravating and mitigating factor in her analysis.

“When one holds such a position, one is really held to a higher standard of trust, of respect,” she said, adding that he had not met those expectations, the newspaper reported.

An attorney for Cooley, Allan Lobozzo, said at the hearing that Cooley had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and had received treatment for alcoholism.

“He stands before the court ready to go on probation, to fulfill his probationary obligations, and to move on as a law-abiding member of society,” Lobozzo said.

In a statement at the hearing, Burns said she still lives in fear of Cooley.

“How can I be sure that one day he will not get drunk and decide that I need to pay for standing up for myself?” she said.

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