Kevin D. Nowell of Massachusetts appears Monday in Androscoggin County Superior Court in Auburn where he pleaded guilty in the attempted kidnapping of a young Lewiston girl in 2020. His attorney, George Hess, sits next to him. Screenshot from video

AUBURN — In what a prosecutor characterized as a “rare” occurrence, a Massachusetts man who molested and attempted to abduct an unknown 7-year-old Lewiston girl from her bed in the middle of the night in 2020 was ordered Monday to serve eight years of an 18-year prison sentence.

Kevin Dontae Nowell, 40, of Dorchester, Massachusetts, appeared in Androscoggin County Superior Court where he pleaded guilty to burglary, aggravated criminal trespass, attempted kidnapping and unlawful sexual contact.

“It is rare that we see a sexual assault or kidnapping perpetrated by a total stranger, and law enforcement was quick to utilize every resource at their disposal to respond appropriately to this one,” Deputy District Attorney Katherine Bozeman said Monday.

Police said Nowell entered a Wood Street apartment about 4 a.m. on Nov. 18, 2020.

He unscrewed the night lights in the bedroom of the girl who had been sleeping in the bottom bunk bed in a room with her three siblings, Bozeman said.

The girl told police she had been “awakened by someone sniffing her hair and touching her arm” who then molested her on the outside of her clothes, Bozeman said.


“She was able to determine that this was an unknown male to her,” Bozeman said. “She told the male to stop and he put his finger to his mouth as if to tell her to be quiet. The male then picked (the girl) up and carried her out of her bedroom into the living room heading towards the door.”

The girl “reported that she asked the (strange man) to put her down so that she could get something quickly before they left the residence. But once the male did put her down , (the girl) immediately ran into her mother’s and father’s bedroom, screaming that someone was in the home,” Bozeman said.

Her father had initially thought his daughter might simply have had a bad dream because he saw no one when he entered the living room.

“But after speaking with his daughter, who was hysterical and insistent, he then began to investigate the home,” which is when he discovered the night lights had been disabled and other changes, Bozeman said.

The girl described the man to police and told them he fled the home.

Police viewed video footage from a neighbor’s surveillance camera that showed a man fitting Nowell’s description repeatedly peering into the window of the girl’s bedroom over a period of hours before eventually entering the apartment.


Police also viewed surveillance video footage from city street and business cameras in the area that showed someone fitting Nowell’s description, including unique clothing characteristics, moving through that area of the city at that hour, Bozeman said.

With the assistance of FBI agents, police mapped Nowell’s movements, she said. Nowell had stopped at a nearby store and made a purchase using a debit card, enabling authorities to learn his identity, which they matched to video from the store and other locations.

On Dec. 4, 2020, police made contact with Nowell, who was in a vehicle that had been stopped. He was arrested and questioned.

Nowell admitted he had been in the area that morning, was the person seen in video footage viewed by police and had been “using some substances,” but he denied he had been inside the victim’s apartment, Bozeman said.

Nowell has been at Androscoggin County Jail since his arrest and will get credit for the roughly 30 months he has spent there awaiting trial.

When Nowell is released from prison, he will be on probation for six years, during which he must seek sex offender counseling and treatment.


Nowell must have no contact with anyone younger than 18 or with the victim or her family.

He must not have any alcohol, illegal drugs or dangerous weapons.

Nowell must register as a sex offender for 25 years.

He will be subject to random searches of any electronic devices.

If Nowell were to violate any of the terms of his probation, he could be ordered to serve some or all of the 10 years of his suspended sentence for the crime of attempted kidnapping. Sentences on the other charges will run concurrently with the eight-year burglary sentence.

During the court hearing, a prosecutor’s aide read a letter penned by the girl’s parents.


They wrote that their daughter had “been traumatized since the night that the incident happened to her” and worry when or whether her life can be normal again.

The parents enumerated several issues that have “changed her life” since then.

They said she can’t be alone in a room. Her bedroom must be lit throughout the night. She’s fearful of strangers, despite the level of danger they might pose.

Their daughter “constantly asks if the man who broke into our house is outside or in jail. She is scared that he will come back again,” the parents wrote.

The girl and her siblings don’t feel safe living in a first-floor apartment, believing they are “always a target for bad people.”

Bozeman said the family was in “full support” of the plea agreement. They decided not to attend Monday’s court hearing, believing their appearance might be “more detrimental to their well-being” than any positive effect it might offer, Bozeman said.

Based on her conversations with the family and their wishes, Bozeman said she felt that resolving the case without a trial was a “good thing.”

Nowell had been on bail for a charge on an unrelated crime at the time of his arrest. He also pleaded guilty Monday to a charge of violation of condition of release. Two other charges were dismissed by prosecutors.

“The District Attorney’s Office is thankful for the diligent work of the Lewiston Police Department in apprehending the defendant and keeping this community safe,” Bozeman said in a written statement after the hearing. “We are also extremely grateful for the bravery of the young victim in this case. If not for her and her courage, the defendant would not have been convicted of these heinous crimes.”

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