FARMINGTON — A New Sharon man pleaded guilty Tuesday in Franklin County Superior Court to sexually abusing a girl in December 2017.

Benjamin E. Savage, 25, was sentenced to serve three years of a five-year prison sentence, followed by three years of probation, according to court documents.

He pleaded guilty to a felony charge of unlawful sexual contact with a girl younger than 14. The abuse occurred between Dec. 1 and Dec. 31, 2017, according to documents.

A charge on a greater felony was dismissed. He initially faced an unlawful sexual contact charge with a girl younger than 12.

Franklin County Detective Kenneth Charles investigated the complaint after he received notice of a child sexual abuse case June 21 in New Sharon, according to Sheriff Scott Nichols Sr.

Charles and a representatives of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services interviewed witnesses.

Savage was arrested June 27 and has been held at the Franklin County jail in Farmington since then. His bail options were $10,000 cash, $30,000 real estate bond or $2,500 cash and a supervised release agreement, a corrections officer said in October.

A conviction on the unlawful sexual contact charge is punishable by up to five years in prison.

Conditions of probation include no contact with the victim or anyone younger than 18.

Savage will also have to comply with the Sex Offender Notification and Registration Act, known as SORNA, which is part of a federal law requiring states maintain a system for monitoring and tracking convicted sex offenders who have been released into communities.

NOTE: The story has been modified to reflect that the sentence was to serve three years of five-year sentence. It was a reporter error.

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Benjamin Savage (Franklin County Detention Center)