LEEDS – A Leeds man appeared in court Friday after police say he held two girls hostage in his home Thursday afternoon.

George Yeaton III, 38, was charged with gross sexual assault, kidnapping and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. Bail was set at $100,000 cash or $500,000 in property. He was also charged with violating the conditions of a previous release, but police said no bail was set for that charge.

The mother of one of the girls called police just after 12:30 p.m. Thursday saying Yeaton had the girls at his Route 106 home and refused to release them, Androscoggin County Chief Deputy Guy Desjardins said. Officers from the Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Department and Maine State Police responded to the call, and a negotiating team started talking to Yeaton soon after.

Yeaton initially refused to let the girls go and threatened to hurt them, police officers and himself, according to Desjardins.

After several hours of negotiations, Yeaton released the girls.

“He ultimately, at that point, gave himself up and walked out of the house,” Desjardins said.

In the house, police found several weapons, including a knife, numerous rifles and “quite a bit of ammunition,” Desjardins said. As a condition of his release on past charges, Yeaton was not allowed to possess weapons.

Police refused to identify the girls, but did say they were under 18.

Desjardins said he could not say why Yeaton allegedly held the girls hostage.

Although he appeared in district court Friday, Yeaton did not enter a plea on the charges.

Any plea will come later if he is indicted by a grand jury. The grand jury is a group of 15 to 23 people from the community who meet every month to review a list of cases and determine whether the state has probable cause to pursue felony charges against the individuals.

Yeaton’s case will likely be presented next month. If he is officially charged, he will return to court to enter his pleas.

Until then, he will remain in Androscoggin County Jail.

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