AUBURN — A 54-year-old Mechanic Falls man who has spent at least a dozen years working with kids on the town's Recreation Committee now resides in Androscoggin County Jail, charged with a list of sex crimes going back to 2006.
Mechanic Falls police Chief Jeffrey Goss arrested John “Jack” Callahan, of 64 Libby Road, on Oct. 7. Callahan has been in jail since, held on $25,000 cash bail.
Goss declined Wednesday to discuss the details of Callahan's alleged crimes, citing an ongoing investigation.
However, the list of charges and counts against the man is lengthy.
According to state records, they include two counts of gross sexual assault, two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, two counts of sexual abuse of a minor and single counts of unlawful sexual touching, unlawful sexual contact and possession of sexually explicit material of a minor under the age of 12.
Due to his volunteer work with children, the town conducted a background check on Callahan, Town Manager John Hawley said Wednesday.
Because he had no previous criminal history, there was no reason to suspect him of anything unlawful, Hawley said.
Callahan's experience on the town's 10-member Recreation Committee goes back to at least 1998, Hawley said.
Callahan became a fixture at town athletic events, sometimes operating the snack shack at the ball fields beside the town hall. He sold candy and soft drinks at baseball and basketball games, among others.
On Oct. 1, that changed.
Goss alerted Hawley that Callahan was being investigated.
Hawley immediately placed Callahan on administrative leave from the Recreation Committee. Pay was not an issue since the committee work is unpaid.
This Monday, following Callahan's arrest, the Mechanic Falls Town Council removed him from the committee.
Callahan's day job with the Auburn Public Works Department is under review, City Manager Glenn Aho said.