UPDATE: Greene found man not guilty of sex abuse

AUBURN — A 9-year-old girl clutching a teddy bear testified Monday her mother’s ex-boyfriend sexually abused her when she was 7 and 8 years old.

The girl took the witness stand at the trial of Roger Hamel Jr., 46, of Greene, who is charged with 15 counts, including unlawful sexual contact, sexual misconduct with a child, unlawful sexual touching and sexual aggression against a child. Most of the charges are felonies.

Before the jury of seven men and seven women — including two alternates —  entered the courtroom at Androscoggin County Superior Court , Hamel rejected a plea agreement of 15 years in prison, with five years suspended, plus probation.

When the girl appeared with her stuffed animal, Hamel’s attorney, George Hess, immediately sought a mistrial, claiming the jury had been prejudiced by the display.

Judge Richard Mulhern denied the motion.

Prosecutors said the girl relied on the brown and white panda as a comfort item and had held it during earlier questioning by sexual assault investigators.

The girl testified Monday that Hamel would baby-sit while her mother was at work from early in the morning to early afternoon, starting when she was in second grade.

She said Hamel would make her watch adult pornography on the living room television. He would masturbate and touch her private parts.

The girl said it made her feel “weird.”

Hamel also would climb into the shower when she was in there, she testified.

She said she told her mother about the abuse after they had moved away from Hamel’s home in Greene and her mother was no longer in a relationship with him.

The girl said she had “been nervous” to tell anyone about Hamel’s actions.

Assistant District Attorney Michael Dumas said the sexual offenses occurred between early November 2016 and late January 2017 at Hamel’s home when the girl was 7 and 8 years old.

Prosecutors also called to the stand Monday the girl’s mother and the Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Office detective who investigated the girl’s claims.

In his opening statement to the jury, Hess asked the jury, “Is it possible that what a 6-year-old child believes is true is, in fact, not true?”

He said the girl had been led to believe that Hamel abused her despite evidence that would show the abuse never happened.

Hamel had voluntarily met with detectives twice to answer questions about the girl’s accusations, which Hamel “vigorously denied” each time, Hess said.

Hamel’s relationship with the girl’s mother ended after the woman accused Hamel of cheating on her, Hess said. Adding to the acrimony, Hamel had kept a car that the woman had purchased, but had Hamel’s name on the title.

The woman “was already angry with Roger for his deceit and infidelity,” Hess said. “She grew even angrier because she wanted that car she had paid for,” he said.

She eventually took possession of the car, but it would be months later that Hamel would sign over the title to her, “further infuriating” her, Hess said.

So, the woman “used her 6-year-old daughter as a weapon” as “a means of inflicting revenge on a former lover,” Hess told the jury.

But, according to Dumas, in his opening statement, Hamel had told investigators the girl had been sitting on his lap while she believed she was rubbing his belly, which turned out to be his penis. Hamel also told authorities that he awoke one time to discover the girl’s vagina was on his hand, Dumas said. Another time, Hamel was in the bathroom as the girl showered, Dumas said the defendant had told a detective during earlier questioning.

Hamel is expected to testify Tuesday. He is being held at Androscoggin County Jail in lieu of $10,000 cash bail.

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Roger Hamel Jr. sits Monday in Androscoggin County Superior Court in Auburn. The Greene resident is on trial on 15 sex abuse charges. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)

Roger Hamel Jr. of Greene, left, appears Monday in Androscoggin County Superior Court with his lawyer, George Hess, in Auburn. Hamel faces 15 sex abuse charges. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)

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