A lawsuit has been filed on behalf of a Belmont man who claims he was sexually assaulted repeatedly as a child over several years by a woman who operated the mobile home park where he lived.

The lawsuit was filed June 28 in Waldo County Superior Court against Margaret E. Palmer and her husband, Douglas E. Palmer, of Belmont.

The 39-year-old man, who is not being named because he is alleged to have been the victim of child rape, alleges in the lawsuit that Margaret Palmer began sexually assaulting him when he was 11 or 12 years old.

The lawsuit claims that Douglas Palmer befriended the boy when he was 10 and asked the youth to help him with chores and errands at Birchwood Park, which consists of 36 leased sites for mobile homes.

The Palmers shared food and gifts with the boy and set up a bedroom for him, joking that they would consider adopting him. The boy lived with his mother in the mobile home park.

The lawsuit further alleges that when Douglas Palmer would go to weekly fishing club meetings, Margaret Palmer began sexually assaulting him. The woman continued to tell the boy she wanted to adopt him and that the assaults needed to be a secret or she would go to jail.

The assaults continued until the boy was 14 years old. The boy lost a normal childhood and endured severe mental distress and physical pain, according to the lawsuit.

The Belmont man is represented by attorney Sarah Irving Gilbert of Camden.

Margaret Palmer is represented by attorney Walter McKee of Augusta. "Margaret has denied all of the allegations here. It is unfortunate that this suit was brought, and it will of course be vigorously defended," McKee said.

Douglas Palmer's lawyer, William Druary Jr., of Waterville, said his client hopes to be cleared of the charges.

"The claims made by (the man) are hotly contested. I don’t want to try the case in the media, but rest assured there will be a full and complete defense presented that will be surprising to (the man).  My client is committed to having a jury hear the full and complete facts and being vindicated," Druary said.

Gilbert said her client did not come forward earlier because it took years for him to come to terms with what happened. She said he lived in the same community as the couple and has had to see them in the stores and other places in town.

"He wants his voice to be heard," Gilbert said.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified compensation, including punitive damages.