A former Gardiner resident living on the lam for the past decade has been charged with sexually assaulting a boy 15 years ago.

Benjamin Thomas Brazier, 55, of Auburn, was charged Monday with gross sexual assault and assault. Brazier, who is being held at the Kennebec County jail in lieu of $25,000 cash bail, is expected to make his first court appearance Wednesday.

Gardiner Police Chief James Toman said charges against Brazier date back to an incident that occurred in 2000 inside a Water Street apartment. The victim, a juvenile male, was an acquaintance of Brazier’s, Toman said.

Todd Pilsbury, who was then a patrol officer with Gardiner Police, conducted the investigation, which eventually led to a warrant for Brazier’s arrest. He was picked up on that warrant and jailed in 2005, Toman said.

“He made bail in 2005,” Toman said. “Then he became a ghost.”

Brazier remained at large for the next 10 years until last month when sheriff deputies in Penobscot County arrested him on an unrelated charge. Toman was unsure what that charge was. A short time later Brazier, who still had a warrant out for his arrest in connection with the Gardiner assault, was transferred to the Kennebec County jail. Then the district attorney’s office called asking Pilsbury, now a detective sergeant with Gardiner Police, to find his investigation notes because Brazier was in custody.

“We had to spend some time at cold storage finding the old paper reports,” Toman said. “It went off his radar for more than 10 years.”

Brazier was originally charged in 2005 with unlawful sexual contact, which is a Class C felony. Pilsbury, after re-interviewing the victim and Brazier, bumped the charge up to the Class A felony charge of gross sexual assault, Toman said. The assault charge accompanies the GSA charge, Toman said. It is not connected to a separate incident.

Toman said investigators know of no other victims, but he encouraged anyone who is aware of other potential victims to call Gardiner Police at 582-5150.

Toman said the victim, who is now an adult, was relieved to hear that Brazier was behind bars.

“Fortunately he was picked up by Penobscot,” Toman said. “Hopefully the victim can start to move on now as well.”

Craig Crosby — 621-5642

[email protected]

Twitter: @CraigCrosby4


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