NORRIDGEWOCK — A local man accused of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl has confessed to the crime, according to a police affidavit.

Cameron Starkey, 21, is charged with class A gross sexual assault. He was arrested Friday and is being held on bail at the Somerset County Jail, according to court records filed in Skowhegan District Court.

After being questioned by police, Starkey confessed to having sexual intercourse with the girl, a relative, in December, according to an affidavit by Somerset County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Jeremy Keal. The document stated that a complaint by the girl’s mother prompted an investigation.

The Children’s Advocacy Center of Kennebec & Somerset Counties, which was established in 2012 as a resource for assisting investigators in allegations of sexual violence against children, has worked on about 430 cases in the two counties since its inception, according to Donna Strickler, executive director of the Sexual Assault Crisis and Support Center, which oversees the program. She said the statistic is indicative of widespread sexual violence against children in Maine.

People between the ages of 13 and 28 are the demographic most at risk for sexual violence, according to the center.

“Whether it’s a family member, a neighbor or someone you know, I think it’s important to note that most times sexual abuse happens at the hand of somebody the victim knows and trusts,” Strickler said. “And that can make it much more difficult to disclose.”

In addition to conducting outreach at schools, Strickler said the center encourages parents and caregivers to let children know they should speak up when it comes to sexual violence.

“Let them know it’s OK to even say they don’t want to have a hug, or any kind of physical contact that might be uncomfortable. Physical force is often not needed to engage a child in sexual activity, because children are trusting and dependent and will do whatever is asked of them to gain approval and love,” she said.

Starkey is being held at the Somerset County Jail in lieu of $5,000 cash bail or $25,000 in real estate. He is not allowed to have contact with the victim or with any girls under the age of 16.

He is scheduled to appear at 8:30 a.m. May 21 in Skowhegan District Court.

Rachel Ohm — 612-2368 rohm@centralmaine.com