West Forks boxer Brandon Berry, one of 21 men charged by police with engaging a prostitute in August, has pleaded not guilty to the charge.

His lawyer, attorney Eric Thistle, of Elias Law Offices in York, says he is confident they will prevail if the case goes to trial.

Berry, 27, is charged with a class E misdemeanor of engaging a prostitute as a result of a multi-agency sting conducted at three hotels in Augusta and Waterville. Berry, a junior middleweight whose ring name is “The Cannon,” has risen to prominence in Maine’s boxing circuit, as he is 10-1 in his professional boxing career with six of the wins by knockout. He earned an eight-round unanimous decision Nov. 23 over Mexican fighter Roberto Valenzuela in Lewiston.

Thistle said Berry entered a plea of not guilty Nov. 30 at the Capital Judicial Center in Augusta. A dispositional conference has been scheduled with a judge for March 8.

“I feel that after watching the hidden camera video that there isn’t the evidence needed to get a conviction,” Thistle said. “I have reviewed the discovery and watched the tape that the district attorney has, and I feel very confident that this case will be disposed of very quickly. It may not go all the way to trial, but if it needs to, we are prepared to do that.”

Thistle said Berry will not change his plea.

The sting, which was conducted by Augusta and Waterville police and the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office, involved advertisements placed on the Internet and social media pages. Authorities in a news release tied the solicitation of prostitution to the “societal epidemic” of human trafficking and sex trafficking.

Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Ryan Reardon said each man went to one of the hotels, which authorities would not identify, expecting to pay for sex.

The charge against Berry carries a maximum penalty of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]

Twitter:@Doug_Harlow


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