PARIS — A 40-year-old Mechanic Falls man denied charges in Oxford County Superior Court on Tuesday that he sexually assaulted a young girl.

Lyle Mercado of Pleasant Street pleaded not guilty to three counts of gross sexual assault. He is free after posting $50,000 worth of real estate as bail.

Mercado is accused of sexually assaulting a 9-year-old girl in Otisfield on three occasions in August. He was initially accused of 30 counts of gross sexual assault and 520 counts of unlawful sexual contact, according to an affidavit by Lt. Hart Daley of the Oxford County Sheriff’s Office. That number of charges was based on the girl accusing Mercado of molesting her at least five times a week over two years, according to the report.

Mercado’s bail was later set at $10,000 cash or $50,000 worth of real estate. Alan Lobozzo, Mercado’s lawyer, requested that the cash portion of the bail be reduced to $5,000. Lobozzo said the number of charges had decreased substantially and that Mercado posed no flight risk.

Assistant District Attorney Joe O’Connor disagreed with the recommendation. He said Mercado had a “significant” out-of-state criminal record, including a charge of willful child cruelty and receiving stolen property in California in 1993 and fraud in Colorado in 1994.

Justice Robert Clifford set Mercado’s cash bail at $7,500.

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