[WATCH] Child Sex Abuse Trial Begins for Former ‘Deputy of the Year’

The trial of Lincoln County Sheriff’s Deputy Kenneth L. Hatch III on charges of sexual abuse of three underage girls, as well as giving drugs to two of those girls, is underway in Kennebec County Superior Court in Augusta.
The trial started Monday, Nov. 13. Hatch, 47, of Whitefield, faces two counts of class B unlawful sexual contact, 11 counts of class C sexual abuse of minors, eight counts of class C aggravated furnishing in schedule Z drugs (marijuana), and one count of class C unlawful sexual contact, all felonies. He has pleaded not guilty to all 22 charges.

A class B crime carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. A class C crime carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

According to an affidavit by Maine Attorney General’s Office Detective Peter P. Lizanecz, one of the girls told investigators Hatch would give her marijuana, including an evidence bag of marijuana on one occasion, as well as alcohol, cigarettes, and money. The girl told investigators the abuse often occurred in Hatch’s cruiser while he was on duty.

Two of the girls were 14 or 15 years old at the time of the alleged abuse, according to court documents. The alleged abuse of the third girl started when she was 6 and continued when she was 14 and 15.

Despite objections by Hatch’s attorney, Richard Elliott, Maine Superior Court Justice William R. Stokes transferred the case to Kennebec County Superior Court after the prosecution objected to “the perception of and potential impact on the alleged victims of having to attend court where the defendant’s former colleagues are responsible for court security.”

Furthermore, the prosecution raised questions about the ability to seat a jury and said “the Wiscasset courthouse is not equipped to accommodate such a large jury pool.”

A jury was seated Wednesday, Nov. 8 in Augusta.

Hatch and Elliott both told Stokes on Wednesday that no plea agreement has been discussed because Hatch is not interested in a plea.

Stokes granted a motion by Elliott to sever five of the charges, which allege crimes against two victims, from the other 17 charges, which allege crimes against a third victim, because Elliott said Hatch might testify on the former, but not the latter. Stokes’ ruling would have still allowed the victim in those 17 charges to testify about what allegedly happened in Hatch’s cruiser, so Elliott withdrew the motion.

The prosecutor, Assistant Attorney General John Risler, told jurors Monday in his opening statement that the trial is about trust — “the trust we put in law enforcement … and the trust of a child not to be abused.”

“What the evidence in this case will show is that the defendant was a decorated deputy by day and a different person after dark,” Risler told the jury Monday morning. “He used his position of trust as a deputy … as a friend, for his own personal benefit, in seeking sexual gratification from children and underaged teenaged girls.”
Risler said the victims were not “perfect.”

“One was a young lady whose father couldn’t control her,” he said. “Another one developed a serious drug problem. One young lady, I will tell you right now, is sexually promiscuous and she self-medicates with alcohol. None of these things make them less of a victim. If anything, that shows why they were picked by the defendant to be abused.”

For the full story visit: http://lcnme.com/currentnews/trial-sheriffs-deputy-underway/

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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 4753 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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