AUBURN — A Minot man who prosecutors called a “serial child molester” was charged Tuesday with three felony sex crimes involving a child younger than 12.

Ralph Leach Androscoggin County Jail

Ralph Leach, 65, was indicted by an Androscoggin County grand jury on a charge of gross sexual assault, a crime punishable by up to 30 years in prison.

He also is facing a charge of unlawful sexual contact, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years, as well as a charge of visual sexual aggression, punishable by up to five years behind bars.

A misdemeanor charge alleges the unlawful sexual touching of a child younger than 14.

Deputy District Attorney Andrew Matulis told a judge at a March hearing after Leach’s arrest on warrants that the man had reportedly confessed to police to having sexually assaulted several children last year and earlier this year.

In at least one case, the conduct continued for at least a year, Matulis said Leach had told police.

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