AUGUSTA — A city man was sentenced Thursday to four years in prison and four years of probation for sexually assaulting a sleeping 13-year-old girl.

Jonathan M. Carey, 37, was convicted by a jury March 16 of unlawful sexual contact and unlawful sexual touching stemming from an incident in July 2008. Carey was sentenced by Justice Nancy Mills in Kennebec County Superior Court to eight years in prison, with all but four years suspended, plus the probation.

The verdict came in Carey’s third jury trial on the same charges. The two previous trials — in July 2010 and September 2011 — ended in mistrials. Two other charges of unlawful sexual contact were dismissed prior to the trial.

The offenses occurred July 31, 2008, in Augusta, while three girls were sleeping in one bed, according to testimony at trial.

“Mr. Carey started with one child and when she rejected him, he went down the line to the next child,” Mills, who was also the judge at the trial, said in imposing the sentence Thursday. “They were children and he took advantage of the situation.”

The victim was not in the courtroom for the sentencing; however, her mother was there. She declined an opportunity to address the judge except to say that her insurance was paying for counseling for the girl.

Mills told Carey he should read the victim impact statements. “It’s heartbreaking to hear what’s happened to this child. It might have been five minutes for you, but for her it’s going to be for the rest of her life,” she said. Assistant District Attorney Brad Grant said the girls were targeted because “they were accessible. They were easy prey.”

He said the victim has suffered significant emotional harm as a result of this incident. “She has long period of crying, hitting herself and wanting to die,” he said.

Grant said that Carey initially told investigators the girls were lying. Carey has consistently pleaded not guilty.

“I have no recollection of doing this,” Carey told the judge Thursday. “If I did this, I am truly sorry from the bottom of my heart to the victim and her family for what they have gone through.”

His attorney, Lisa Whittier, said Carey had substance abuse problems and went off medication he believes caused him to do things and then forget them.

Whittier said Carey scored low on a psycho/sexual evaluation rating his risk of reoffense and so she suggested a lighter sentence. “The collateral consequences are not only lifelong, they’re enormous,” Whittier said.

Conditions of probation ban Carey from contact with girls under age 16 as well as the victims and their families.

Carey is also required to register as a lifetime registrant under the state Sexual Offender Registration & Notification Act.

Betty Adams — 621-5631
[email protected]