AUGUSTA — A 19-year-old man has been charged with four felony counts of gross sexual assault, after two women alleged that he sexually assaulted them in a West Gardiner home.

Joseph Berglund was arrested Saturday and made his first appearance in court Monday afternoon, via a video feed from the Kennebec County jail.

In their complaint against Berglund, prosecutors are charging him with two class B counts of gross sexual assault, each punishable by up to 10 years in jail, and two class C counts of gross sexual assault, punishable by up to five years.

Berglund’s town of residence was not listed in the probable cause affidavit written by a member of the Maine State Police, which detailed the allegations.

During Berglund’s court appearance on Monday, Justice Donald Marden set his bail at $10,000 surety or $2,000 cash with a Maine Pretrial Services contract. Marden also approved bail conditions the state recommended for Berglund, including a curfew and an order against having any contact with the alleged victims.

The state initially requested $10,000 cash bail, but an attorney representing Berglund, Henry Beck, called that amount “terribly high” and proposed a lower amount, $1,000 secured, with a contract.

“Two class B allegations and two class C allegations would call for a higher bail than that,” Marden said, before making his decision. “It obviously has to be reasonable under the circumstances.”

Berglund will not be called upon to enter a plea, Marden told him, until a grand jury reviews the state’s case and decides whether to indict him.

Berglund was arrested on Saturday by a member of the Maine State Police, Scott Quintero, who described the allegations against him in a probable cause affidavit filed at the Capital Judicial Center.

Both women told police that they were asleep in the same West Gardiner home when Berglund allegedly removed their pants and assaulted them, Quintero wrote. Immediately afterward, they went to the Gardiner Police Department to make the allegations, according to Quintero.

The document provided little other information about the complaints.

At several points during the court appearance on Monday afternoon, Marden asked Berglund if he understood the proceedings, and Berglund said that he did. Otherwise, Beck did most of the talking during the hearing, which was attended by a couple of Berglund’s family members.

Berglund’s next court appearance will be Dec. 12. Going forward, he will be represented by local attorney Walter McKee, at whose firm Beck works.

Charles Eichacker — 621-5642

[email protected]

Twitter: @ceichacker

This story was updated on Tuesday, November 14 at 7:58 am to reflect that the alleged assaults occurred in West Gardiner, not Gardiner as previously reported. 

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