AUGUSTA — A Lincoln County sheriff’s deputy who faces 22 charges involving sexual abuse of three girls and supplying marijuana to one of them is scheduled to go on trial in November.

Kenneth L. Hatch III of Whitefield, who turns 47 on Wednesday, was in a courtroom briefly Tuesday at the Capital Judicial Center to hear Superior Court Justice William Stokes indicate the anticipated trial date.

Hatch, who was deputy of the year in 2015 and worked in law enforcement for 17 years, has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges. He remains free on bail with conditions that prohibit him from contact with minor children except under special, preapproved circumstances with authorized supervisors.

According to court documents, some of the alleged sexual abuse occurred on ride-alongs in Hatch’s cruiser.

Seventeen of the charges list one girl as the victim, three counts of sexual abuse of a minor involve a second girl, and a third is identified in connection with two charges of unlawful sexual contact.

While Hatch was indicted in Knox County in August 2016, and all 22 offenses are alleged to have occurred in the period from September 1999 to January 2014 in Lincoln County, Stokes ordered the case transferred to Kennebec County in October. Hatch objected to the change of venue.


Jury selection in the case is scheduled for Nov. 7-8.

Hatch’s attorney, Richard Elliott, and the prosecutor, Assistant Attorney General John Risler, indicated the trial will take about a week.

It was unclear Tuesday whether Hatch remains on unpaid administrative leave from Lincoln County. The county administrator and the sheriff are out of the office for several days. The prosecutor said he was unaware of any change in Hatch’s status with the county.


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