A juvenile charged with gross sexual assault denied the charge during an initial court appearance on Thursday in Portland Unified Criminal Court.

Ernest Lorange, 16, of Portland, entered a “denial” plea, the juvenile court equivalent of “not guilty” for an assault that allegedly occurred on Feb. 5 at the Super 8 motel in Westbrook. Also charged with gross sexual assault were Rick Powers, 15, of Lisbon Falls, and Garang Majok, 19, of Lewiston. The victim in the case is a 16-year-old girl.

The names of juveniles charged with crimes are not typically released to the public, but they were in this case because they were charged with felonies. Majok, because he is over 18, is charged as an adult.

Christine Thibeault, assistant district attorney for Cumberland County who heads the juvenile division, said that whether prosecutors will seek to charge Lorange or Powers as adults has yet to be determined. Lorange will next appear in court on March 16, while Powers has a March 9 hearing and Majok is due in court April 20.

“There’s still a lot of information that needs to be gathered,” Thibeault said.

No details of the incident are available at this time.

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