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Date: 04-11-2024

Case Style:

United States of America v. Stephen Pilson

Case Number:

Judge: Jon D. Levy

Court: The United States District Court for the District of Maine (Cumberland County)

Plaintiff's Attorney: The United States Attorney’s Office in Portland

Defendant's Attorney:

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Portland, ME criminal defense lawyer represented the Defendant charged with Kidnapping and Interstate Violation of a Protective Order.

Massachusetts Man Sentenced to 13 Years for Kidnapping and Interstate Violation of a Protective Order

A Brighton, Massachusetts man was sentenced kidnapping and transporting a woman into Maine against her will.

Stephen Pilson, 56, was sentenced to 156 months in prison for kidnapping and 50 months for interstate violation of a protective order, with the sentences to be served concurrently. Judge Levy also sentenced Pilson to four years of supervised release following his prison term. A federal jury found Pilson guilty on December 21, 2023, after a three-day trial.

On December 15, 2019, Pilson drove the victim, with whom he had a relationship, from Massachusetts to Maine against her will. Throughout the trip, he drank heavily and told the victim they were going to Canada where she would die. Pilson tied the victim to the vehicle’s gear shift with her scarf and struck her when she tried to escape. On I-95 near Arundel, the victim attempted to open the door while the car was traveling at high speed. After Pilson pulled over, she attempted to remove the vehicle’s keys, breaking the key off in the ignition before fleeing along the highway with Pilson in pursuit. Maine State Troopers were alerted to the incident by 911 calls from at least five concerned motorists. Troopers later found Pilson in the woods with the aid of a K-9.

On December 12, 2019, three days before the kidnapping, Pilson had pleaded guilty in Waltham (Massachusetts) District Court to five charges, including kidnapping the same victim, for which he had been sentenced to time served and probation. A no-contact order was also imposed, prohibiting him from contacting the victim. The federal jury found Pilson guilty of interstate violation of a protection order for violating the Massachusetts order.

While incarcerated on the federal kidnapping charge, Pilson sought to obstruct justice by convincing the victim to recant her statement to police and cease cooperating with the investigation. In a recorded phone call Pilon made to the victim from jail, Pilson instructed her to write to prosecutors to say that she wasn’t kidnapped, and that she wanted the charges dropped. During the call, Pilson told the victim that if she did not write the letter, Pilson would kill himself because he could not face years in prison.

At sentencing, Judge Levy observed that, “Mr. Pilson’s recorded call to the victim was chilling and reflects someone who is both calculating and will do whatever it takes to another person to get his way.”

The FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force and the Maine State Police investigated the case.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, help is available via the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233), or via the hotline’s website at Mainers experiencing domestic violence can also contact the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence (MCEDV) at 1-866-834-HELP (4357). The MCEDV website,, also has information about member organizations across Maine.


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