FARMINGTON — A Massachusetts man was sentenced Monday to 17 years in prison, with all but 10 years suspended, for sexually abusing a 7-year-old girl in Maine and Massachusetts.

A Franklin County jury convicted Ross Adams, 52, of Martha’s Vineyard of felony unlawful sexual contact against a child under age 12 in June.

The incidents occurred between July 4 and Oct. 10, 2014, in Farmington. The conviction is punishable by a maximum of 30 years in prison.

Adams will serve 10 years of probation upon release and must register as a sex offender and have no contact with children under age 18 without adult supervision.

Justice Robert Mullen, who presided over the trial, denied defense motions Monday for an acquittal and a new trial at Franklin County Superior Court.

Defense attorney John Webb told the court he plans to appeal the conviction to the state’s Law Court. Adams is being held without bail pending the outcome of that appeal.


The girl testified in person in June that Adams had touched her more than once in her private area during the time she and her mother lived with him in Farmington. She said she did not confront him because she was afraid of his anger.

Deputy District Attorney James Andrews requested that Adams be sentenced to 20 years in prison with all but 15 years suspended followed by 10 years probation. He said there was a lack of remorse and failure on Adams’ part to accept responsibility of what he had done and the affect it had on the girl.

Andrews said the girl struggled to tell what happened to her, trembled on the stand and is now afraid of the dark, men, beards or being alone.

Webb argued for a sentence of between five and 10 years with all but two years suspended.

“I think that Ross Adams is an extremely unique individual,” he said. He told the court Adams was a hard worker and at a young age he oversaw dozens of cattle.  

Letters submitted by people from Martha’s Vineyard mentioned Adams’ carpentry and his extremely significant contribution to society, Webb said. Adams has gone 10-plus years without a criminal history, his attorney said.


One of Adams seven children who wrote that his father taught him his work ethic and about farming.

“I appreciate the significance of the charge,” Adams said. “I greatly sympathize with (the victim).”

“I am a proud father of seven children,” he said. “The hardest part of this has been the impact on my family. … My family is the most important thing in my life.”

Adams said he has never violated any conditions of bail in the past four years and promised to abide by all conditions the state sets and will pay child support.

Ross Adams (Franklin County Superior Court)

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