FARMINGTON — The young girl stood at the microphone Friday in Franklin County Superior Court, flanked by nearly 20 family members and friends, leather-vested bikers, young and older women among them.

Only 13, she was facing a woman who had once been a close family friend and now was preparing to be sentenced for her role in abusing the girl sexually over nearly a year. Her statement in hand, the girl spoke to the courtroom in a low but steady voice.

“When I first met Tami, I liked her and never thought she would do something like this,” she said. “I thought of her like family.”

“When Tami goes to jail, I won’t worry about her coming to my house,” she continued. “I could know that she won’t do this again and I would finally be able to know I can sleep at night without being scared of being in the dark.”

Tami Dalot, formerly Ouellette, pleaded no contest earlier this month to a charge of unlawful sexual contact in a plea agreement that saw prosecutors dismiss two other felony charges of gross sexual assault and visual sexual aggression against a child. As the girl spoke, Dalot, 44, turned and watched but registered no expression on her face.

Dalot and her accomplices, former husband Jamie Ouellette and his girlfriend, Anna LaRochelle, were charged originally in February 2015 after an investigation by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office found evidence the trio had molested the girl sexually and forced her to watch them have sex, according to an affidavit written by Franklin County Detective Kenneth Charles.

The Morning Sentinel does not disclose the names of victims of sexual abuse without their permission.

Ouellette and LaRochelle entered Alford pleas in September, not admitting guilt but conceding that the evidence against them probably would lead to conviction. Franklin County prosecutors dismissed lesser charges against Dalot in order to bring the more serious charges before a grand jury, her attorney said.

Justice Robert Mullen presided at Friday’s hearing and, hearing arguments from assistant district attorney Claire Andrews, sentenced Dalot to the agreed-upon sentence of six years in prison with all but two years and six months suspended.

Dalot also will serve seven years of probation with conditions including no contact with children under the age of 18 without the permission of her parole officer and her sex offender counselor, no contact with the victim or her family, no possessing or viewing sexually explicit material and no loitering in areas primarily frequented by children, such as parks, fairgrounds or schools. She will be subject to random searches to ensure her compliance and also will be required to register as a lifetime sex offender.

In addition, Dalot pleaded guilty to three counts of violating the conditions of her release for continuing to have contact with Ouellette after she was released on bail. She was sentenced to a year for each charge, to be served concurrently with her other sentence.

Andrews explained that Dalot’s sentence matched that of LaRochelle. Knowing a judge probably would provide a similar sentence to those given to Dalot’s accomplices, the district attorney’s office opted to enter into a plea agreement and spare the girl the trauma of testifying at a trial. The girl chose to be present, however, at both of the sentencing hearings.

Before handing down his sentence, Mullen spoke to the victim and praised her for her bravery. He said he hoped, with the resolution of the last of the three cases, that the victim could begin to move on.

“You still have time to be a kid, and you still have time to be a teenager,” Mullen said. “I can’t undo what was done, but you’ve showed a lot of courage in coming in here today, writing this statement and coming in and standing up in an open forum and telling me and telling the defendant the impact that this had on you.”

Melanie Tyler, 38, the girl’s mother, said she was relieved to have the cases resolved.

“She can go back to living,” she said of her daughter. Asked about the group of friends and family who had joined them, Tyler said she wanted her daughter to feel safe when she gave her statement.

“She needs to feel she’s worth it,” said Amanda Fetterhoff, a family friend.

Both women said they once had called Dalot a friend and were furious about her refusal to apologize. They said they were grateful to Mullen for his comments assuring the girl she bore no responsibility for what happened to her.

“I loved what he said to her. I wanted to hug him,” Tyler said.

Kate McCormick — 861-9218

[email protected]

Twitter: @KateRMcCormick

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: