Sexual assault suspect found hanging in Franklin County jail cell

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FARMINGTON — State police said a man charged with sexual assault was found Monday night hanging from bedsheets in his cell at the Franklin County jail.

Stephen Tripp, 35, of Strong died Tuesday morning at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, authorities said. 

Tripp was arrested Friday on felony charges of gross sexual assault and possessing sexually explicit material of a child under 12 years old, according to an affidavit filed in a Farmington court by Detective Herbert Leighton of the Major Crimes Unit of the Maine State Police.

Leighton began an investigation of Tripp in mid-October. Police found sexually explicit photos of girls on a cellphone, after a witness provided the phone to police. One girl was photographed multiple times over the past nine years, according to the affidavit. 

State police investigate all inmate deaths in jails and will work with Franklin County personnel in Tripp’s death.   

Stephen Tripp

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