Ashton H. Heald

FARMINGTON — A Madison man pleaded guilty last Wednesday to subjecting a woman to unwanted sexual contact and assaulting her April 2, 2019, while on the University of Maine at Farmington campus, according to Franklin County court documents.

Ashton H. Heald, 19, a former UMF student, and the victim knew each other, Sgt. Wayne Drake of the UMF Department of Public Safety said last year.

The victim, a UMF student who reported the incident to campus police, underwent an examination at a hospital and evidence was collected, according to Drake.

Drake said he then conducted an investigation and presented a report to the Franklin County District Attorney’s Office.

Heald was arrested last summer and indicted in October on a charge of Class C unlawful sexual contact. He has been prohibited from going onto UMF property since his arrest.

Heald entered a two-year deferred sentencing agreement on the sexual contact charge. It outlines what he must do during the next 24 months, including undergoing a sexual abuse evaluation and participating in counseling, according to court documents.

If Heald completes the agreement successfully, he will be able to withdraw his guilty plea and plead guilty to unlawful sexual touching, a lesser charge that carries a maximum 364 days in jail.

If the agreement is not completed, Heald will be subject to an open sentence to the charge, which is punishable by up to five years in prison.

Heald was sentenced to six months on the assault conviction and is currently serving the sentence.

A judge granted the victim a two-year protection from abuse order last year.


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