AUGUSTA — A West Gardiner man found guilty of unlawful sexual contact with a 16-year-old girl was sentenced to serve 90 days in jail Wednesday.

Kenneth D. Marquis Sr.

Kenneth D. Marquis Sr., 61, was sentenced by Justice William Stokes to 364 days in jail, with all but 90 days suspended, and one-year probation, on the class D misdemeanor charge, which carries with it a one-year maximum sentence. Marquis will have to register as a sex offender for 10 years.

Stokes said the sentence for Marquis reflected both that Marquis has no criminal record and has led an exemplary life — according to the testimony of multiple character witnesses — as well as the seriousness of the crime and the impact on the victim. Stokes said the victim trusted and respected Marquis until he, in April 2018, unexpectedly took off his pants when the two were alone in a room together and initiated sexual contact.

“It’s not just the behavior itself, but it’s the betrayal of her, by a man who is supposed to be her protector,” Stokes said of the impact on the victim, who testified at the trial in August at which Marquis was found guilty by a jury, but not at his sentencing Wednesday.

She indicated in a letter to the courts she wanted him to get the maximum, 364-day sentence, and she felt violated and the sexual assault was demeaning and had a significant impact on her.

Marquis, according to Deputy District Attorney Frayla Tarpinian, walked into a bedroom of his home where the girl was looking at books while sitting on a bed. He took off his pants, grabbed her wrist when she attempted to leave, put her on top of him, simulated the actions of sexual intercourse with her and moved his hand underneath her shirt.

Three local residents expressed support for Marquis, who has no criminal record, in testimony Wednesday, saying he is a great family man who lovingly cared for his mother until she passed away last year; a hard worker; and a kind, honest, gentle and trustworthy man.

Theresa Chavarie said she’s known Marquis for eight years, and he is a loving and trustworthy figure to their shared grandchildren, whom she said she hoped wouldn’t have to suffer by him not being a presence in their lives.

Marquis’ attorney, Walter McKee, said Marquis lost a job with FedEx he loved and excelled at due to his conviction.

McKee argued for a jail sentence with all but seven to 14 days suspended.

Tarpinian said the character witnesses vouching for Marquis didn’t take away from the offense for which he was found guilty. She sought a sentence of all but 180 days suspended.

Stokes said it was hard to fathom, after hearing her testimony, the victim could have been making up the allegation against Marquis and said the jury obviously found her to be credible when they reached the guilty verdict.

Marquis will be on probation for one year, with conditions including he have no contact with the victim, have no unsupervised contact with any girls under the age of 16, and that he be evaluated to see if he needs sex-offender counseling.

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