SKOWHEGAN — A three-time convicted sex offender is scheduled to appear in court next month for allegedly exposing himself to two women in downtown Skowhegan in March.

Christopher Carl Cates, 35, of Bingham, was arrested March 31 on two counts of indecent conduct. Each charge is punishable by up to six months in jail. Cates also is charged with having contact with a minor, a violation related to his being a registered sex offender in Maine.

Skowhegan police Officer Ronnie Blodgett said Cates also is alleged to have approached two girls the same day of the indecent conduct, March 15. In each incident, Cates allegedly asked the girls and women for directions while in his car, a blue, older model Lincoln Town Car.

The girls, Blodgett said, ages 15 and 18, had been instructed not to talk to strangers and did not approach the car. The women were less suspicious and were subjected to the indecent conduct — once on Court Street near the movie theater, the other on nearby Bush Street, he said.

“He was asking for directions — where DHS was and where North Elementary School was,” Blodgett said. “The adults didn’t feel any stranger danger and walked up to the car and at that point he had his genitalia hanging out.”

The alleged contact with a minor is said to have happened on Cardinal Street, where he approached one of the girls who was in the company of her 12-year-old brother.

“He has a conviction in 2000 where his victim was 11 — or under the age of 14 — so because of that conviction, he can not have contact with any children under the age of 14,” Blodgett said. “By talking to the younger brother, he violated the prohibited contact with a minor.”

That incident happened in Winslow, he said.

Blodgett said one of the children had the presence of mind to note the license plate number and told her mother, who reported the incident to police. The two women also called police.

Blodgett said he traced the license plate, which took him to Cates’ address in Bingham. Residents of that town said Cates might be found at his father’s house in Oakland. Cates turned himself in, and Oakland police Officer David Savage arrested him.

Cates was able to post $300 cash bail at the police station and was released.

According to the Maine Sex Offender registry, Cates was convicted in Augusta District Court of unlawful sexual contact in 1996. He was sentenced to 364 days in jail, with all but 14 days suspended and probation for one year.

He was convicted of unlawful sexual contact a second time in Waterville District Court in 2000. This time the victim was under the age of 14. He was sentenced to serve five years in prison, with all but one year suspended and was ordered to serve four years of probation once he was released.

He was again convicted of unlawful sexual contact in 2004 in Kennebec County Superior Court, for which he received a sentence of six months in jail, according to the registry.

Blodgett said there were three other charges brought against Cates in Franklin County in 2008 where he was charged with unlawfully touching two girls while performing massages and exposing himself to a female jail guard.

“He’s a six-time sex offender, basically — there’s three on the registry that you’re going to find and three more in Farmington that don’t get you on the registry — they don’t qualify for that registry,” he said.

Doug Harlow — 474-9534

[email protected]


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