Jay man pleads guilty to sexually touching girl

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FARMINGTON — A Jay man pleaded guilty Wednesday to sexually touching a teenage girl and not letting her and another girl leave a Sandy River beach area in Farmington in July, according to court documents.

Shawn Burnell, 21, pleaded guilty to a felony charge of unlawful sexual contact and a misdemeanor charge of criminal restraint.

A conviction on the felony charge is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Sentencing has been scheduled for Dec. 5 in Franklin County Superior Court in Farmington.

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Burnell was indicted on the charges earlier this month.

The charges stem from an incident on July 20 when Burnell was accused of attempting to give alcohol to the two teens and attempting to have sex with them. The girls escaped and one of their parents called Farmington police to report the incident, police previously said.

Burnell pinned one of the girls to the ground at different times, according the court document.

One of the girls was taken to Franklin Memorial Hospital and complained of a bruised wrist and cheek, as well as scratches on her legs, police said in July.

Burnell had been held on $25,000 cash bail since his arrest on July 26. He is being held without bail, a corrections officer at the Franklin County jail said Thursday.

dperry@sunjournal.com

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