FARMINGTON — Police said a Phillips man faces felony charges after he and a male reportedly tried to give alcohol to two girls ages 14 and 16 and have sex with them.

Shawn Burnell, 21, was arrested Saturday on charges of unlawful sexual contact, criminal threatening and criminal restraint, Farmington Deputy Chief Shane Cote said. The arrest of the second male is pending, he said.

Some sexual touching occurred, but there was no intercourse, he said. There was a knife involved in threatening the girls. The criminal restraint charge resulted from them not letting the girls go, Cote said.

Police were called by one of the girl’s parents following the incident, which occurred at approximately 4 p.m. July 20 on a beach area of the Sandy River near the trestle, he said.

When the girls escaped, they told their parents, he said.

The parents went to the scene and cornered one male near the Snack Shack at Prescott Field. He ran into the woods. Farmington police Officer Darin Gilbert and an officer from the University of Maine at Farmington responded to the call.

The 14-year-old girl was taken to Franklin Memorial Hospital and complained of a bruised wrist and cheek, as well as scratches on her legs.

The girls apparently had met the two males at McDonald’s. Burnell, the second male and the two girls all went to the river beach area, police said.

Burnell attempted to give them alcohol. One girl reported that Burnell tried to force alcohol into her mouth. She spit it out and ran, but he followed her, according to a court document.

Burnell pinned her to the ground at different times. The girl told police he pulled out a knife and put it in her face. He held her wrists and, at one point, hit her in the cheek. This was consistent with the bruises on her wrists and cheek, according to the document.

Warrants were issued for the arrests of Burnell and the second male. Burnell was believed to be staying with friends around the Farmington area, but police could not find him, according to the court document.

Burnell was seen walking Saturday by Farmington police officer Derek Doucette. He was arrested and taken to Franklin County Detention Center to await an initial court appearance Monday.

In a teleconference appearance Monday with Judge Eric Walker of the South Paris District Court, Walker set bail at $25,000 cash with conditions of no contact with the victims, no possession or consumption of alcohol or illegal drugs, no contact with females under age 18 and random search and testing.

[email protected]


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.