PARIS – A South Paris man accused of sex crimes and expected to plead guilty today in Oxford County Superior Court got an unexpected week-long reprieve.
Because Justice Robert E. Crowley must leave by 11:30 a.m. to preside over cases at another court, Patrick Duane Whitely, will now enter a plea on Friday, June 2, at 1 p.m. assistant court Clerk Suzanne Raymond said Thursday afternoon.
Whitely is charged with two Class C felony counts of unlawful sexual contact and one count of gross sexual assault, a Class A felony. According to an Oxford County grand jury indictment, he is accused of committing the unlawful sexual contact crimes on a girl under the age of 14 on July 1 and 15, 2004, in South Paris.
The gross sexual assault charge stems from an incident on Jan. 10, 2005, during which he allegedly engaged in a sexual act with a different girl, who was also under the age of 14.
Crowley, however, is expected to preside over a second sex crimes case sometime between 8:30 and 11:30 a.m.
Former Rumford resident Steven A. Morton, 20, who is accused of raping a 2-year-old girl last fall, is expected to plead guilty, according to Friday’s trial list.
Rumford Detective Lt. George Cayer arrested Morton on Sept. 27, charging him with gross sexual assault, a Class A felony, which, pending conviction, is punishable by up to 40 years in prison.
Because of threats made to Morton and his family, he has been kept in York County jail in Alfred since November, his lawyer, Ron Hoffman, said in a December interview.
Raymond said Crowley will also hear pleas from 25 others charged with misdemeanors and felonies.