Chesterville man pleads guilty to sex crime

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FARMINGTON — A Chesterville man pleaded guilty Monday to sexually touching a child under 18 years of age between Jan. 1, 2005, and Dec. 31, 2006.

Jeffrey Mitchell, 40, pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge and had a felony count of unlawful sexual contact dismissed by the state in Franklin County Superior Court.

Justice Nancy Mills accepted the guilty plea and deferred sentencing for 12 months.

Franklin County Sheriff’s Detective Ken Charles arrested Mitchell in July 2013. Charles had received information from the Maine Department of Health and Human Services and launched an investigation, Sheriff Scott Nichols Sr. previously said.

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Prior to the plea being accepted, Bonnie Lisherness of Sexual Assault Victims Emergency Services read an impact statement from the victim.

“What was done to me can never be taken back,” Lisherness read. “I’ll never be the same person.”

She has struggled for nine years to open up, Lisherness read, and over the years has been humiliated and belittled. She continues to struggle to regain her confidence in herself but will work toward getting it back and making herself a better person, Lisherness read.

Mills told Mitchell that if he follows the conditions in the 12-month agreement, he will be able to withdraw his plea to unlawful sexual touching and plead to a misdemeanor charge of assault.

If he is not successful, she said, he would face up to 364 days in jail and up to a $2,000 fine.

Mills ordered Mitchell to be released on a personal recognizance bond and to have no contact with the victim.

dperry@sunjournal.com

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