A 15-year-old charged with sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl at a motel in Westbrook denied the charge Thursday in Portland Unified Criminal Court.
Rick Powers, of Lisbon Falls, entered the denial before Judge Cynthia Montgomery at a juvenile court hearing. A denial in juvenile court is the equivalent of a not-guilty plea in adult courts.
Powers, Ernest Lorange, 16, of Portland, and Garang Majok, 19, of Lewiston, are all charged in the assault that allegedly took place Feb. 5 at the Super 8 motel.
Lorange entered a denial plea last month and Majok, who has been charged as an adult because he is over 18, is next due in court in April.
The names of juveniles charged with crimes and their court proceedings are not typically made public, but because the two are charged with felonies, their names have been released and court hearings are open.
Powers’ father, mother and stepfather were in the courtroom Thursday. They and Powers left immediately after the hearing and did not comment.
Powers’ attorney, Steven M. Carey, was also not immediately available after the hearing.
Christine Thibeault, a Cumberland County assistant district attorney and head of the juvenile division, told Montgomery that she will seek an order limiting the distribution of discovery materials in the case to keep them from being disseminated widely.
For instance, Thibeault said, she will likely seek to have Montgomery order that Carey and others keep and review the material, including photographs and interview notes, in their offices, rather than turning those items over to Powers or others. Thibeault said she’s hoping to protect the privacy of the alleged victim.
Carey told Montgomery that he anticipates reaching an agreement on that order with Thibeault within two weeks and will return to court to ask the judge to sign it and resolve disagreements, if any.
Powers’ next court date is set for May 15.
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