VAIL, Colo. -- Two women who say they were sexually assaulted by the man accused of posing as a firefighter are speaking out to 9Wants to Know with claims he bragged about being a fireman.
"I honestly believe that he has convinced himself he is a firefighter," one of the women told 9Wants to Know. "He definitely used it to boost his game."
Michael Maher, 30, is facing allegations he posed as a firefighter during the Lower North Fork fire and the High Park Fire. He's currently facing felony charges after his arrest Sunday when he was allegedly found behind fire lines with stolen fire equipment, a stolen government license plate and old government credentials.
Two women, who don't want their identities revealed, say Maher raped them when they were teenage girls in 2003 in Eagle County. The two claim Maher used to carry around a firefighter's helmet in the backseat of his truck.
Court records obtained by 9Wants to Know show Maher pleaded guilty to a felony charge of sexual assault against a child and guilty to a misdemeanor sexual assault charge in 2003.
After serving jail time and staying out of trouble, the felony charge was dismissed as part of a deferred sentence which was negotiated as part of a plea deal with prosecutors.
Maher is no longer a registered sex offender as a result of the dismissed felony sexual assault charge.
9Wants to Know confirmed Maher worked as a volunteer firefighter in Eagle the same year he was charged. His time there was brief and only around a month-long.
The two victims in the case believe Maher's wealthy background allowed him to fight the system and stay out of prison. His father is a retired CEO of a financial firm. Property records show the Maher family sold a home in Beaver Creek for more than $9 million last year.
"I think he is a scum bag who has to stop letting mommy and daddy bail him out and start accepting the consequences for his actions," one of the victims said.
"He's got so many issues that, he is a demon," the other victim said. "He really needs some help. If not, who knows how many other people he's going to take advantage of?"
Maher's attorney, Daniel Recht, released a statement on Wednesday saying his client always wanted to be a firefighter and that it wasn't Maher's intent to steal while behind fire lines.
From the statement:
"Late last week, Michael tried to help fight the High Park Fire without appropriate authority. He knows this was ill advised, foolish and regrettable. However, he never meant to hurt anyone,
loot anything, impede the firefighting effort in any way, or do anything but naively and immaturely attempt to help fight the High Park Fire."