Buckfield man pleads guilty to assaulting woman


PARIS — A 25-year-old Buckfield man pleaded guilty Tuesday to assaulting a woman and had more serious charges of rape and burglary dismissed.

The case against Dale Joseph Bennett of 518 Streaked Mountain Road was scheduled to go to trial Tuesday in Oxford County Superior Court. Instead, he pleaded guilty to assault and aggravated criminal mischief and will be sentenced April 1.

Assistant District Attorney Richard Beauchesne said the incident occurred last May at a Buckfield woman’s home. He said Bennett was intoxicated, refused repeated requests to leave, and assaulted the woman sexually.

According to a report by Deputy Michael Halacy of the Oxford County Sheriff’s Office, the woman also accused Bennett of grabbing her by the hair and throwing her to the ground. Bennett had told police that he and the woman had consensual sex, he said.

Both the assault and aggravated criminal mischief charges are punishable by up to five years in prison. The assault charge was elevated from a misdemeanor due to Bennett’s two prior convictions for assault in 2004 and 2006 in South Paris District Court.

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