SKOWHEGAN — A registered sex offender pleaded guilty in Somerset County Superior Court Tuesday to several charges of gross sexual assault and unlawful sexual contact and several misdemeanors involving a total of nine children.

Timothy Hayes, 50, was sentenced to 20 years in prison to be followed by 10 years of supervised release after he admitted sexually assaulting an 8-year-old Clinton boy in 2013. Hayes was convicted in 2011 of gross sexual misconduct and unlawful sexual contact and was last registered as a sex offender in Madison, though he most recently lived in Prentiss, in Penobscot County, according to law enforcement reports.

Hayes Tuesday was convicted of assaulting a boy from Clinton both at the boy’s home and at the boy’s family’s camp in Moxie Gore Township.

Hayes Tuesday also pleaded guilty to eight misdemeanor charges of prohibited contact with a minor stemming from instances when Hayes, who is prohibited from contact with children under 16, had contact with eight other children in addition to the Clinton boy, some in safe zones such as a playground or athletic field.

Somerset County District Attorney Maeghan Maloney said Hayes sexually assaulted the boy on camping trips. Maloney said Hayes knew the boy’s family, and that Hayes would take the boy on four-wheeler rides and inappropriately touch the boy. Maloney also said that Hayes sexually assaulted the boy at his family’s home in Clinton during roughly the same time period.

Several other misdemeanor charges were dismissed in the plea agreement, Maloney said, but Hayes pleaded guilty to at least one charge involving all nine children.

“We dismissed misdemeanor charges that did not include any more victims,” Maloney said outside the courtroom Tuesday afternoon.

Hayes walked into court with both his wrists and ankles chained, wearing dark blue prison clothing with the acronym SCJ on the back and orange Velcro shoes. He had a slight hunch to his gait and spoke softly. After entering the guilty plea, Hayes apologized for his actions.

“I’m very sorry about what happened. I knew I was wrong. I stepped over the line,” Hayes said. As he started to cry, the rest of his statement became inaudible.

Maloney said the state worked with the defense on the plea deal. The agreement negates the need for the victim testifying at trial.

“It was my belief that this plea deal provides the greatest amount of protection and security for the community,” Maloney said. “For the next 20 years, the community is absolutely protected, and for 10 years after that he will be highly supervised. Going to trial is always risky.

“In this case we did not have pictures or video tapes. We had an 8-year-old boy who would have had to testify to the worst events of his life. Having an 8-year-old boy myself, I understand how difficult that would be and wanted to spare that child from having to go through that.”

In addition to the charges from Clinton and Moxie Gore Township, Hayes was sentenced on misdemeanor charges brought by Clinton police officers last October after police said parents reported seeing Hayes with children on his lap at an athletic field in Fairfield.

At the time, Hayes was already a registered sex offender after convictions in 2011 for gross sexual misconduct and unlawful sexual contact. He has a conviction for burglary as well as multiple counts of receiving stolen property and theft, Maloney said.

In addition to the prison time and post-sentence supervision, Judge Robert Mullen ordered that Hayes may have no contact with any of the victims or with any children under the age of 16. He was represented by attorneys Peter Barnett of Bingham and Donald Hornblower of Lewiston.

Jesse Scardina — 861-9239

[email protected]

Twitter: @jessescardina

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