A Fairfield man has pleaded not guilty in a Connecticut courtroom to sex crimes involving a child, his lawyer said this week.

Michael D. Nickerson, 24, is charged with two counts each of aggravated sexual assault on a minor under 16; unlawful restraint of the same alleged victim; and risk of injury to a minor, according to Assistant State Attorney Terri Sonnemann, in Litchfield, Conn.

The crimes are alleged to have happened in Torrington, Conn., in 2006 and 2007. The aggravated sexual assault charges are of the first degree, the most serious level of criminal conduct under Connecticut law, Sonnemann said.

Nickerson was arrested as a fugitive from justice May 11 at his job on Rowe Road in Skowhegan. He later was extradited to face charges in Connecticut.

The pleas were entered July 1 in Litchfield Superior Court. Nickerson is free on $50,000 bond.

Sonnemann said Nickerson had done some jail time in Connecticut in 2007 and in 2009, but was not charged with the sex crimes until now because the alleged victim did not come forward until recently.

“The disclosure of the allegations did not come immediately following the contact,” she said. “Any crime involving a sexual assault against a child is among the most serious that we handle. I will tell you, in my experience prosecuting child sexual assaults, it is very rare for a child to go through a process involved in making such an allegation. It’s very serious and in child cases, incredibley rare. That doesn’t mean it never happens, but it’s very, very unusual.”

Nickerson’s attorney, Ira Mayo, said the affidavit for the arrest warrant is sealed by the court because of the age of the alleged victim. Details of the allegations, along with the age and gender of the victim, will not be made public, he said.

Mayo said Nickerson has requested a jury trial.

“We’re proceeding forward; we did plead not guilty,” Mayo said this week. “We’re ready to defend the charges against him. His next court date is July 29 when we will try to negotiate with the state and see if there is any way of settling it; otherwise, it could possibly be set down for trial.”

Sonnemann said Nickerson faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years in prison and a maximum of 50 years on each of the aggravated sexual assault charges if he is found guilty. The charges of unlawful restraint are in the second degree under Connecticut law and carry a one-year maximum penalty. The charge of risk of injury to a minor is punishable in that state by a maximum prison term of 20 years on each count.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]

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