LEWISTON – A registered sex offender from Turner was arrested Sunday and charged with sexually assaulting a minor, police said.

Richard Vermette, 50, led police on a half-mile chase through woods before he was caught, said Maine State Police Lt. Walter Grzyb.

Vermette was charged with gross sexual assault, a class A crime. If convicted, he could be sentenced to up to 30 years in prison.

Police were tipped off that Vermette was at a Turner home and had assaulted or was about to assault a juvenile.

He fled when police arrived that evening. One of the troopers had a dog, who helped track down Vermette, Grzyb said.

The troopers brought Vermette to Lewiston’s police station where they were joined by a Maine State Police detective. During an interview, Vermette admitted to police that he had sexual contact with the underage female earlier that day as well as on a different occasion, Grzyb said.

Vermette was booked at Androscoggin County Jail where he remained Monday in lieu of posting $10,000 cash bail.

According to the Maine Sex Offender Registry, Vermette was previously convicted of unlawful sexual contact.

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