BANGOR (AP) – A Glenburn man was sentenced to spend three years in prison after pleading guilty Wednesday to 10 counts of sexual abuse of a minor.

Billy W. Potter, 35, was charged with inviting boys who were 14 and 15 to his home on Pushaw Lake, where he gave them alcohol and showed them X-rated videos before he abused them. The offenses occurred between May 1998 and August 1999.

In a plea agreement, the former Maine Army National Guardsman was sentenced to five years in prison with all but three years suspended. When he is released from prison, probation conditions include no unsupervised contact with minors under the age of 18, no use of alcohol or drugs, no use of a computer or access to the Internet without permission, undergoing sexual offender counseling and registering as a sexual offender.

“I am sorry for what has happened, your honor,” Potter told Superior Court Justice Nancy Mills. “I do take responsibility, your honor. I just want to put this behind me.”

Potter also pleaded no contest to one count of sexual abuse of a minor. Timothy Smith, 45, of Ellsworth, angrily protested the plea agreement after Potter pleaded no contest to the charge that he abused the man’s stepson.

Smith said that when the family moved to Maine, the boy was a happy, well-behaved 13-year-old. After spending time with Potter, he turned angry and became prone to violent outbursts.

“The impact of the abuse on (my stepson) has been deep and far reaching,” he said.

Smith said Potter not only took advantage of his stepson and the others, he also ingratiated himself with their parents by calling them to introduce himself and seeking their permission for the boys to spend time with him.

A member of the Maine Army National Guard for the past eight years, Potter recently resigned his position as a staff sergeant. His commander has recommended he be discharged, but not honorably, Guard spokesman Maj. Peter Rogers said Wednesday.

“He was a soldier,” Smith said. “He should have been a role model.”



Information from: Bangor Daily News, http://www.bangornews.com

AP-ES-01-27-05 0218EST



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