AUGUSTA — A former Gardiner man will spend 18 months in prison for having unlawful sexual contact with a 13-year-old boy more than 15 years ago.

Benjamin T. Brazier, 56, was living in Gardiner at the time the offenses of unlawful sexual contact and assault occurred around Sept. 1, 2000.

Brazier, now of Windham, was sentenced Tuesday during a hearing at the Capital Judicial Center to a four-year prison term with 18 months of that to be served immediately and the remainder suspended. He was placed on two years of probation and ordered to register as a lifetime sex offender under the state’s Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act.

Conditions of probation ban him from contact with the victim and with boys under age 16.

His attorney, Lisa Whittier, told the judge that Brazier had no recollection of the events. She also said Brazier had suffered several strokes.

In exchange for his guilty plea to the charges of unlawful sexual contact and assault, additional charges of gross sexual assault, failure to appear and attempted furnishing or procuring liquor for a minor were dismissed.

District Attorney Maeghan Maloney had said that the plea agreement took into consideration the fact that the defendant is “in extremely poor health” and that the victim would not have to testify.

Assistant District Attorney Frayla Schoenfeld said she has been in frequent contact with the victim since Brazier was arrested in March on the charges, which were brought originally in December 2000.

She said he supported the plea agreement and did not want to be present at Tuesday’s hearing.

An affidavit by Gardiner police Officer Todd Pilsbury said the boy reported the assault to police at the time, saying Brazier invited the boy to Brazier’s apartment several times, gave him beer, showed him pornographic movies and promised to buy him expensive presents.

Brazier had been arrested on the sex charge in 2005 but apparently disappeared until he was picked up in March in Penobscot County on an unrelated charge and then sent to Kennebec County on an outstanding warrant.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams


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