Kidnapping charge dismissed, but Houlton man sentenced to 258 days for assault

HOULTON, Maine — A Houlton man accused of kidnapping and holding a woman captive for several hours in March 2016 has been sentenced on assault and other related offenses.

Dusko Venelinov Vulchev, 41, was sentenced  in Aroostook County Superior Court on Nov. 27 to 258 days in jail on charges of domestic violence assault, obstructing the report of a crime, theft and domestic violence terrorizing, according to Attorney Jeff Pickering.

Pickering, who has represented Vulchev since he was arrested in March 2016, said that a kidnapping charge lodged against his client was dismissed. The theft charge was added by police because Vulchev stole the victim’s clothes and keys during the assault.

The time that Vulchev spent in the Aroostook County Jail and at a mental health facility since his arrest counted toward his sentence, Pickering said. His client is now out but remains on probation.

“He is now free on probation,” the attorney said Wednesday. “All of the charges were misdemeanors.”

Dushko Venelinov Vulchev
(Courtesy of Aroostook County Jail)

Vulchev, a naturalized U.S. citizen originally from Bulgaria, was accused of holding a woman captive in his home on Court Street.

The woman’s parents, who live out of state, had called police to check on their daughter’s welfare after they were unable to get in touch with her and she did not show up for work.

After police went to Vulchev’s home a couple of times and he did not respond, the officers obtained a search warrant to force open the door. Once in the home, officers said they heard a voice calling for help and found both Vulchev and the woman in a bedroom. The victim was naked, she had bruising visible and was very emotionally shaken, according to police. She was treated for her injuries at Houlton Regional Hospital  and then released.

After his arrest, Vulchev was treated at the Riverview Psychiatric Facility in Augusta after a competency hearing was held last summer and he was found incompetent to assist in his defense.  

Vulchev eventually was found competent, according to Pickering, which led to the sentencing.

In 2015, Vulchev served about seven months in prison after he was convicted in U.S. District Court of one count of making threats in foreign commerce. That charge stemmed from an email he sent threatening to kill an economist and administrator with the European Commission, the executive body of the European Union, in Brussels, Belgium.

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