FARMINGTON — A Franklin County justice sentenced a Jay man Wednesday to serve 15 months of a five-year sentence for having unlawful sexual contact with a New Sharon woman in March 2014.

Four felony charges of gross sexual assault against Joseph Begin, 38, were dismissed in a plea agreement.

He was arrested in March 2015 and has been held in jail since. He will be credited for time served and is expect to be released in May, if not sooner. He must serve two years of probation, undergo evaluations for anger management, substance abuse and sexual assault. If necessary, he must get counseling to the satisfaction of his probation officer.

Justice William Stokes found Begin guilty of a felony charge of unlawful sexual contact after he pleaded no contest to the charge on Feb. 5. A conviction charge carries a penalty of up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

If the case had gone to trial, the woman would have testified that she did not consent to having sex with Begin, Assistant District Attorney Joshua Robbins said Feb. 5. She would have testified that the two had a past relationship and that Begin appeared at her home unexpectedly and highly intoxicated, and sexually assaulted her, Robbins said.

He said the agreement was reached because there were risks of the jury acquitting Begin, the state not being able to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt and jurors not reaching a unanimous verdict.


“It is much less than the victim was hoping for, much less than the victim wanted,” Robbins said.

The woman told the court the ordeal did not only affect her, but her whole family. She said she has post traumatic stress, suffers from night terrors, and is always looking over her shoulder. She also said she told Begin she would be silent about what happened if he got help, but he didn’t.

Defense attorney Philip Mohlar said Begin has no record of sexual offenses.

Begin has maintained from the beginning that it was consensual sex, Mohlar said. The woman did not report the “alleged offenses” for a year, he said. After going through the evidence, some of the exchanges between the two were flirtatious, he said.

Begin pleaded no contest to the charge because he had to consider all of his options in light of the risks, Mohlar said.

Begin also told the court one sexual encounter was her idea.

“It was consensual,” he said.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. 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.